Es Devlin appointed as artistic director of London Design Biennale 2020

Es Devlin appointed as artistic director of London Design Biennale 2020

British designer Es Devlin has been named as the artistic director of the third edition of the London Design Biennale in 2020.

The international exhibition will take place from 8 to 27 September 2020 at London's Somerset House on the Strand.

2020 biennale will address the theme of resonance

As the biennale's next artistic director, Devlin has set the theme of Resonance.

"We live in an age of hyper resonance, the consequences of which are both exhilarating and devastating," explained Devlin. "Everything we design and everything we produce resonates."

"Each idea we generate has the power to reach a mass digital audience undreamt of by previous generations, while the lifespans of the physical products we create often endure long beyond our own," she continued.

"Whether in the social media feeds of millions or in the bellies of marine animals, our ideas and our objects stick around."

Participants to be invited from 50 countries

With this theme in mind, participants from 50 different countries and cities will be invited to create original designs and installations in response to our fast-paced digital age.

Ranging from Taiwan and Australia, to the Netherlands and Latvia, these countries' creations will be set within the neoclassical site of Somerset House.

"In our global, digital era, design can reach instantly across borders and bridge cultures," said Devlin. "It can positively alter behaviours and transform societies."

"Perspectives can be shifted and lives can be improved when new ideas resonate and are adopted by extended communities," she added.

"Designers have the power to influence and amaze their audiences into making these profound shifts, using the mass networks available to them to resonate practices that will help build a more sustainable future."

Devlin is known for work across multiple creative fields

Devlin's work spans many creative domains including music, opera, art, theatre and technology. She is best known for designing the stage sets for artists' such as Kanye West, U2, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and The Weeknd.

She is also recognised for her large-scale performative installations, including her AI-powered, poetry-spouting luminous red lion installed in London's Trafalgar Square during the city's 2018 design festival, and her 2017 collective choral installation at the V&A.

The London-based designer has also been chosen to create the UK Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020, and proposed a performative structure that will use artificial intelligence to write poems.

Will Sorrell will be the managing director of the biennale in 2020

In addition to the announcement of Devlin as artistic director, Will Sorrell has been chosen as managing director for the 2020 London Design Biennale.

Sorrell has previously acted as managing director of London's annual designjunction show, part of the London Design Festival.

"It is such an exciting moment to join London Design Biennale. The third edition in 2020 will come at a time when the UK finds itself in new relationships with the world," said Sorrell.

"What better way to strengthen those relationships, than to host the best international design thinking in our capital," he added.

Emotional States was the theme of the last year's edition of the Design Biennale. Dezeen selected 10 of the best installations from the show, including a condensation-covered wall and a skeletal house made of white rods.