Sunday, 30 October 2016

More from the London Design Biennale 2016

A few other brief snippets from the London Design Biennale, where the theme was Utopia, interpreted in a variety of ways at different national pavilions

China:
Shenzhen: New Peak by URBANUS

The population of Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, has grown in 35 years from 300,000 to over 17 million. In this exhibit, the architecture team from URBANUS illustrated a proposal for a megastructure, as an alternative to urban sprawl. In the middle was a model of the megastructure. What struck me was that it was not a solid monolith, but had lots of openings and spaces within it, so that there would be lots of light and fresh air even in the middle of the structure.

There’s nothing new in the concept of a megastructure housing an entire city, but I thought this one was rather well illustrated, with a video on the wall of the pavilion showing it being built on the proposed site, and another animation showing what life might be like in one of these  places.

I’m sure that none of the technical issues have been worked out, and I don’t know if such a structure could actually be built. The animation did look a little like a video game, but it was nevertheless a seductive vision. If something like that were to be built, I’d quite like to visit.

More details from the designers' page here.

Israel:
AIDrop by Yaniv Kadosh

This is a system which allows 3 kg packages of  supplies to be air-dropped to disaster zones. The payload is carried in a unit, inspired by the sycamore tree, which rotates and thereby slows its descent without the need for a parachute.


This seemed like a clever idea. The item itself was on display, and it would appear that it has actually been tested and does work.



Here is the designer's website.

Taiwan:
Eatopia by Rain Wu, Shikai Tseng, et al

This was a beautifully designed room, with dishes laid out on a table. The food was meant to “explore the creative melting pot of Taiwanese identities”. It looked pretty, but unlike the Lebanese pavilion, it was not for public consumption, except during special events. No matter, it was lovely to look at, and enjoyable to walk through.






Finally, 
here is something I saw by the reception desk at the Spanish pavilion which you could make yourself for your own home:

 

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