Postcard from the London Design Biennale 2018

4 years ago by

In September this year with the support of Creative New Zealand, I traveled to London to experience first-hand the London Design Biennale.

The London Design Biennale 2018 saw 40 countries exhibit at Sommerset House from 4-23 September and respond to the theme of Emotional States, investigating the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs.

National entries were asked: How does design evoke, communicate and manipulate emotions? How can design promote and support well-being? Conversely, how can design provoke and address anger and stress? How might emotionally durable designs reduce the impact of consumption and waste? What are the possible consequences of robots as emotional machines?

The responses to this theme were hugely varied and ranged from a single designer entering a piece of work through to Germany’s curated show of more than 30 individual pieces.

Medal winners were USA, EgyptLatvia and people’s choice, Guatemala.

My favorites included Hong Kong’s entry which featured scratch and sniff wallpaper, Israel’s working design studio and Norway’s robot that stands in for children at school with long-term illness.

Over the three weeks 30,000 people took in the the sights, sounds (and smells) of the London Design Biennale. The exhibition pulled together a vast array of designers and responses from across the globe, showcasing how design has the power to not only delight our senses but to challenge and make us think about our world in new ways.



Hong Kong


If you’re interested in entering the London Design Biennale in 2020, I would love to talk to you about what’s required. Please get in touch with me: for a chat and coffee.


Thanks to Creative New Zealand, Louise Kellerman traveled to the London Design Biennale 2018. 





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