London Design Biennale: 5 interactive installations we love
The London Design Biennale returns to Somerset House with installations from 40 countries, cities and territories, but Singapore does not make an appearance
Lebanon: The Silent Room
The Silent Room is a Lebanese installation that, true to its name, is completely insulated from noise. In this unique experience, guests are free from the routine assault of noise pollution from the environment around them. The Silent Room is painted a deep blue, the colour of serenity, and seeks to explore the effects that noise, and the lack of it, can have on our collective emotional states.
Latvia: Matter to Matter
Matter to Matter is a Latvian installation made up of a green condensation wall that visitors can write and draw on. The colour is a representation of the value Latvia designs place on nature, and the condensation is a reflection of the high humidity level of its capital Riga. The floor is made from Latvian bark, and the bench from birch, further emphasizing the importance of building a harmonious relationship with nature.
ANIPAKOI, an installation from Greece, is a compelling large interactive piece that is displayed outdoors in the stately grounds of Somerset House. A kinetic model, it expands or contracts based on visitors' movements as they walk through. ANIPAKOI effectively challenges the conventional idea of architecture as static and emotionally unreactive.
Australia: Full Spectrum
Australian designer Talbot uses 150 hanging optic fibre strands to create an interactive rainbow that visitors can touch and walk through. The rainbow spectrum is a response to the passing of the recent Australian same-sex marriage legislation in a spirit of elation and hope.
India: State of Indigo
State of Indigo is an installation from India that shows a set of films exploring the production line of the Indigo dye that has become a significant aspect of India's identity, built on the exploitation of workers. It is framed within a colonial style entrance to show the lasting impact of India's colonial history, and the central image of Indian workers on the escalator shows the mechanical process of its production. Indigo is also a dominant colour in the films, giving viewers a strong visual impact in addition to the emotions they evoke.