Virtual Design Festival

Live talk on the relationship between sport and design as part of VDF

Nelly Ben Hayoun led a relay panel discussion on how sports can influence the design industry as part of our Sports Day collaboration with the designer for Virtual Design Festival.

Organised in partnership with Ben Hayoun, the panel welcomed 12 figures from the worlds of sport, design and nightlife.

Participants discussed topics including how sport can inform new practices in design, architecture, nightlife and politics, the similarities between a boxing ring and an art gallery, and what the future holds for the live event industry in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Introducing the event, Ben Hayoun posed the question: "in pandemic time, sport has been heavily impacted to the point that one might wonder – is sport even still a collective thing?"

Live talk on the relationship between sport and design as part of VDF
Designer Yinka Ilori will take part in a relay panel discussion

"In this energy-induced, power fuel-propelled, 2.5 hour, live, marathon show we will learn what sport has to offer other fields, such as design, nightlife, the space industry and politics," she explained.

First in to bat was London-based designer Yinka Ilori, who is known for his colourful styles that have adorned projects such as the Colour Palace pavilion at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and Happy Street, a renovated railway bridge in Wandsworth, London.

Live talk on the relationship between sport and design as part of VDF
Also joining the panel is creative director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney Tea Uglow

Stepping into the ring second was author, activist and creative director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney, Tea Uglow, who spent several year's lobbying for the inclusion of the transgender flag in Apple's emoji collection.

Also joining the panel was Lilli Barret O'Keefe, the creator of the Play Proud campaign which focuses on the inclusion of LGBTQ+ youth in football, sports writer and sociologist David Goldblatt and founder of Design Indaba Ravi Naidoo.

Live talk on the relationship between sport and design as part of VDF
Drag Queen Peaches Christ will also be joining the panel

Also diving into the conversation was the first African woman to ever qualify in the boxing category at the 2020 Olympics, Roumaysa Boualam, Slowe Club Magazine founder Ro Jackson, and sportscaster, lawyer and former NBA player Len Elmore.

The final members of the panel were Aleali May, drag queen Joshua Grannell also known as Peaches Christ, infamous boxing director Hector Roca who is known for training Hillary Swank for her role in Million Dollar Baby, and director of Gleason's Gym in New York, Bruce Silverglade.

The panel was organised by Ben Hayoun in collaboration with Virtual Design Festival.

Ben Hayoun is the founder of the University of the Underground, an alternative design school based in Amsterdam. Offering a fee-free design education, the university encourages its students to create work that challenge the existing institutions and power structures in today's society.

The designer was also part of the master jury for the 2019 edition of Dezeen Awards.

About Virtual Design Festival

Virtual Design Festival runs from 15 April to 10 July 2020. It brings the architecture and design world together to celebrate the culture and commerce of our industry, and explore how it can adapt and respond to extraordinary circumstances.

To find out what's coming up at VDF, check out the schedule. For more information or to join the mailing list, email [email protected].