London Design Biennale announces the first exhibitors for its 2023 edition, ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations’
27 February 2023: London Design Biennale announces the first confirmed exhibitors for its 2023 edition, taking place at Somerset House from 1-25 June. The theme of this year’s Biennale, ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations,’ goes beyond borders and territories to enact new forms of international cooperation and participation through the medium of design.
1 June. 2023: Foster + Partners has collaborated with Amelia Peng, an MA Textiles student at the Royal College of Art, along with musicians and composers from the Royal College of Music to create an installation for the London Design Biennale. Inner Peace combines smart interactive textiles and musical performance to engage visitors in an immersive display, with their feelings and emotions directing the visual effects.
Irene Gallou, Senior Partner and Head of Specialist Modelling Group, Foster + Partners, said: “This project has been a wonderful opportunity for our team to collaborate with talented students, musicians and composers in the fields of art and music. We are delighted to see people engaging with and enjoying the installation at this year’s London Design Biennale.”
Innovation In textiles 6th June 2023. Marie O'Mahony London
At the London Design Biennale, Amelia Peng’s ‘Music-Mind-Textile’ offers visitors an immersive experience that promotes mindfulness and inner peace. Peng is a Textiles MA student at the Royal College of Art (RCA), where individual and collaborative practice are both encouraged. To realise the work, Peng sought expertise across a wide range of disciplines, from her professors and textile technicians at the RCA to neuroscientists, art therapists, medical doctors and experts in data science. The work is a collaboration with music composers and musicians from the Royal College of Music, the Specialist Modelling Group at architects Foster + Partners, and specialist weavers Dreamlux in Milan, making this a truly collaborative endeavour.
‘Music-Mind-Textile’ is inspired by the theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku’s book ‘The Future of the Mind’ (2014) as Peng looks to guide her audience on an emotional journey to rediscover peace within humanity. She also points to the United Nations Social Development Goals (SDG) for 2030, with her project mission to bring social awareness through art, music and design for a sustainable future.
FAD Magazine By Meike Brunkhorst • 15 June 2023
Biennales are designed for countries to showcase the best they have to offer in terms of art, design or architecture. You still have time to catch the fourth edition of the London Design Biennale as it is open until 25th June at Somerset House.
Though setting a theme encouraging collaborative approaches, the organisers did not go quite as far as last year’s documenta that followed a more radical model based on community-led collectivity, resource sharing and equal allocation. Inspired by the World Peace Game (with ‘peace’ later dropped from the name) designed by 60s futurist Buckminster Fuller as an approach to solving the world’s problems, this year’s curatorial team encouraged inter-national collaboration while sticking to the traditional model of national pavilions – an out-dated term, especially as there are no actual pavilions.
@London Design Biennale Photography by Taran Wilkhu
From Catharsis to Inner Peace:
Finding Purification Through a Common Belonging
Art review by Dr. Gelly Gryntaki, PhD, London 2023
The idea of purification has been a focus of human ethos since Aristotle first wrote about catharsis in his Poetics. Catharsis, according to Aristotle, refers to the purgation of emotions, particularly fear and pity, through the experience of art. In the aftermath of the pandemic, the concept of purification has taken on even more significance, prompting new metaphors and contemplation about matter and soul.
Created after the Covid health shock, during a long period of financial and humanitarian crises that manifested through refugees' tragedies, impoverishment, inflation and wars, the immersive multimedia e-textile art installation Inner Peace, curated and designed by Amelia Peng, MA Textiles student at the
Royal College of Art, in collaboration with music composers of the Royal College of Music, Foster + Partners’ Specialist Modelling Group and Italian textile weaver Dreamlux, which is currently presented in the London Design Biennale, 2023 in Somerset House, aims to inspire a sheltering feeling, encouraging an environment of authentic coexistence amidst uncertainty and complexity.
Using the powerful imagery of running water, Inner Peace invites the public into a therapeutic communion against the feelings of uneasiness, agony and fear that the recent health and socio-political conditions have provoked worldwide.
The water-like e-textile traverses the impressive and historically charged Nelson Staircase and is programmed to tune in with the collective emotional state, projecting the public's feelings through its colour fluctuations. While the audience's mood determines the visual effect, an interactive live musical performance will be composed based on this mass emotional revelation. Within multiple spiritual and artistic references, such as the Japanese Zen Gardens, Bill Viola's video works or Yoko Ono's introspective "Water Piece", and by inviting us into a non-verbal communication ―a type of silent commune― Inner Peace enacts a metaphorical soul-purifying baptism, a unique rite of passage beyond time and space towards a new era of universal empathy.
Several disciplines intersect within this ambitious and compassionate project with main elements the music, the mind and the textile.
Mind is in the centre of the artistic vision. The way this collective aesthetic experience leads to an artistic healing creation is related to the cutting-edge science of neuro-aesthetics, a new field of research which studies brain mechanisms that respond to the arts for developing arts-based solutions that address real-world problems concerning brain health and neurodiversity. To achieve this mind and art connection the artist collaborated with Eleni Giannoulis (Clinical Psychologist MSc, Neuropsychologist, Art Psychotherapist MA, Group Analyst (tr.), Creative Arts Therapies' Supervisor, ECPh) who is specialised in Neuroaesthetics and with Medical Doctor, Cognitive Neuroscientist and classical pianist Dr. Marianna Kapsetaki for merging classical music with neuroscience. The shared experience and the consequent feeling of profound embodiment produced through the artwork's multisensory nature open the path to enhance empathy, social bonding, and inclusiveness, as well as a sense of inherent connectedness to others and the world around us. This deep feeling of interconnectedness is the core principle of modern systems of thought as deep ecology and post-humanism. The concept of deep ecology, developed by Nordic philosopher Arne Naess, stresses the interconnectedness of all living things and the importance of recognising and valuing the intrinsic worth of non-human beings. At the same time, post-humanism theorists, such as the Italian feminist intellectual Rosi Braidotti, argue for a reconceptualisation of the human as a distributed and hybrid entity that extends beyond the boundaries of the individual body.
Textile and Innovation its connotations are basic here. Textile, after all, carries the identity of the human/female element, strongly connected with empathy and care, while its "machine intelligence" resonates with our current acute awareness of AI's fast development and the challenging questions it poses about creativity and the organic-inorganic interaction. The water imagery of the installation is a reminder of purification rites, as the state of water has always been a symbol of birth and initiation on fluid transparent organza layering with sensory threads . It also intersects with e-textile technology and sonic design, which are pivotal to the installation. The soft system, conducted Brainwave by EEG sensor into Digital Jacquard weaving to react four types of the human emotional sensation feedback — The complexity from Art crafting jacquard weave construction to smart textile into a soft system, this textile installation enriching the multi-sensory experience with a musical dimension allows individuals to connect profoundly with their inner selves before opening their senses to interconnectivity.
Music, which Oscar Wilde once described as "the art which is most nigh to tears and memories," has the power to stimulate emotions and experiences, reverting us to our genuine human state. By integrating music and e-textile technology, Inner Peace proposes a fresh humanitarian vision of potential uses, bridging the gap between the artificial and natural worlds, fostering empathy and a connection to nature, and proposing a new humanistic approach to technology and data science. Specifically, collaborated for this project with music composers from Royal College of Music, Obe Vermeulen (“Inner Peace”), Isin Eray (“Essenes of Water : Kindness“), Jacques Allen (“Heal Inspire Love”) It begins with the innocence of birth, navigates through dark times, and ultimately rediscovers genuine authenticity and inner strength. Throughout this long and challenging journey, there is an unwavering hope for life.
Within innovative technologies and intersecting with multiple disciplines, the innovative multimedia installation Inner Peace pushes the boundaries of what art can achieve and offers a unique opportunity for visitors to connect with their inner selves, other humans, and the whole natural world around them.