Virtual Design Festival

This week's VDF highlights include a live interview with Li Edelkoort and messages from 35 designers

Virtual Design Festival launched this week! Here's a roundup of everything that happened in week one including live interviews, collaborations with cultural organisations and video messages from designers around the world.


Video messages: we built up towards the launch day by releasing a few of the many video messages we've received from creatives around the world. On Monday, Aric Chen sent a message of hope from Shanghai while Liam Young described the apocalyptic scenes in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, Hella Jongerius provided an animation (above) explaining her hope that designers will not return to making "more meaningless stuff" after the pandemic, while Maarten Baas sent a funny video of himself trying to figure out what to do with his time during lockdown.

Wednesday 15 April

Launch movie: we kicked things off with an emotional video (top image) featuring self-recorded messages from 35 architects and designers around the world. Introduced by Maurizio Stochetto of legendary Milanese designer watering hole Bar Basso, the movie features Michel Rojkind, Es Devlin, Kelly Hoppen, Studio Drift and many more.

Li Edelkoort manifesto launch: we then exclusively published trend forecaster Li Edelkoort's new "hope" manifesto, which looks to a new future for society after coronavirus.

Li Edelkoort interview: this was followed by a live interview with Edelkoort (above), who spoke to Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs from Cape Town in South Africa in the first of our regular series of Screentime interviews during VDF.

Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein of Klein Dytham Architecture speak to Dezeen as part of Virtual Design Festival

Thursday 16 April

PechaKucha live stream: early risers were treated to a live stream of a series of PechaKucha talks featuring creatives around the world including designer Yves Behar, visual artist Shantell Martin and architect Peter Exley.

Klein Dytham Architecture interview: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (above), who founded PechaKucha and run Tokyo studio Klein Dytham Architecture, spoke live with Marcus about their work and what's happening in Japan in this Screentime session.

One Minute Architecture: we've big fans of Tokyo YouTuber Martin van der Linden's One Minute Architecture movies, so we asked him to curate a series for us. In this specially filmed introduction, van der Linden explains who he is and why he took to video blogging. We then published his short film about Kengo Kuma's SunnyHills cake shop in Tokyo.

Friday 17 April

Forward Festival: today we teamed up with Vienna conference Forward Festival. Since this week's real-world event has been cancelled, they've put together a virtual conference for VDF featuring five of their most popular lectures from the past.

The lectures feature MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli (above), Erik Spiekermann, Freitag creative director Pascal Dulex, artist Sarah Illenberger and graphic designers and rock 'n' rollers Snask.

One Minute Architecture: today's mini-documentary sees YouTuber Martin van der Linden visiting Kengo Kuma's Kuwait Embassy.

Video message: today it was the turn of Milanese architect and designer Fabio Novembre, who called for "a new world order".

Schools: with student and graduate shows cancelled this year, we've created a simple platform to allow shows to take place virtually. Our first show features the work of Master of Architecture students at the University of Brighton.

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April

We're mostly going to be taking it easy over the weekends! But we'll be running a couple more One Minute Architecture movies.

Next week

To find out what's happening in week two, check out the VDF schedule. Enjoy the weekend!