London Design Biennale 2023: first exhibitors announced

London Design Biennale 2023 will follow a theme of ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations’, led by Aric Chen and Het Nieuwe Instituut (1 – 25 June 2023)

London Design Biennale 2023, Malta pavilion
A render of the Malta pavilion installed within the Somerset House courtyard at the London Design Biennale 2023
(Image credit: Malta Pavilion, Courtesy London Design Biennale)

Three months from its inauguration, London Design Biennale 2023 announces the first confirmed exhibitors for the edition, which will take place at Somerset House from 1 to 25 June 2023, led by Aric Chen and Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut. The theme of the design event’s fourth edition will be ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations’, exploring design beyond borders, new forms of international cooperation and participation through multidisciplinary design.

‘The previous Biennale took place towards the end of the global pandemic and once again the global context has drastically changed,’ says Victoria Broakes, Director of London Design Biennale. ‘Despite this, international design teams continue to demonstrate the possibilities of what can be achieved through design and design thinking. The Biennale is the place to see what is on people’s minds, across the world, right now. This year we will see exhibitors presenting design in all its forms - from ancient weaving traditions through futuristic urban planning, from AI systems to collaborative humanitarian efforts.’

London Design Biennale 2023: Remapping Collaborations

London Design Biennale 2023, Ukraine pavilion

(Image credit: Ukraine pavilion, Courtesy London Design Biennale)

For the 2023 event, the initial line-up sees Abu Dhabi, the humanoid Ai-Da Robot, Automorph Network, Care Pavilion, Chatham House, Chile, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dubai, India, Malta, the Swiss museum Mudac, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Korea, Spain and Peru, Taiwan, The Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom and Ukraine taking over the spaces of London’s Somerset House.

In the Somerset House courtyard, Malta will present a ‘village square’, defined by textile designs made with traditional Phoenician-Maltese dyes to highlight ‘ancient approaches to the urban environment and the chance encounters that they encourage’. Meanwhile, on the River Terrace, India will recreate a ‘chowk’ (an open market found at street junctions) through a charpai traditional woven daybed.

London Design Biennale 2023, Poland

(Image credit: Adam Mickiewicz Institute/Zofia Jaworowska, Michał Sikorski (TŁO), Petro Vladimirov, Courtesy London Design Biennale)

The war in Ukraine will feature in some of the national contributions to the event: Ukrainian designers will collaborate to highlight their country’s creative richness and the role of collaboration in fostering connection and communication in time of war, while the Polish project will reference donations from Poland to Ukraine to support those who lost their homes, using the window as a symbol of cross-border collaboration.

London Design Biennale 2023, spain and peru pavilion

(Image credit: Miguel Balbuena, copyright Círculo de Bellas Arte. Courtesy London Design Biennale)

Spain and Peru present a collaborative pavilion, embodying the biennale’s theme with a body of work inspired by the ‘cajón’, a traditional Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument that was later brought into Spain, becoming the instrument of flamenco music.

‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations‘ aims to create an alternative geopolitical landscape driven not by competition nor conflict, but rather cooperation,’ comments Chen. ‘We all agree that global challenges require global collaboration. This is easier said than done, but in some small way, we hope real international exchanges will arise from this biennial in a way that also invites visitors to become part of the process.’

London Design Biennale 2023 will take place from 1 to 25 June 2023

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA (opens in new tab)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.