If, like us, you’re constantly longing for a little countryside break away from the city but can’t always find the time to tear yourself away from the alluring vibrancy that London has to offer, don’t fret. Because there’s a giant forest has popped up right in the middle of the city this summer. 

Four hundred trees have arrived outside Somerset House this month, featuring 23 species of tree that are typically found in the UK and northern Europe. 

Popping up from 1st to 27th June, the urban forest will be the focal installation of the London Design Biennale 2021, a global celebration of some of the most vibrant, pioneering and imaginative designers, curators and design institutes from around the world. This year’s theme is Resonance, chosen by Artistic Director, Es Devlin, who is the brains behind this ‘forest of change’. 

If you look a little further back in history, trees have typically been forbidden in the iconic courtyard, set out by the Enlightenment Principles. But all of that changed as the forest arrived this month.  

Named ‘Forest for Change’, the hope is that visitors will be taken on a journey to which they ‘discover the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development’. The development programme is one which hopes to end poverty, inequality and climate change.

Cold Flux, Ben Cullen Williams
Planes of Perception, Petr Stanický

Alongside the forest will be the rest of the London Design Biennale’s collaborations and installations, which up to 50 countries and territories have been chosen by Devlin, all corresponding to the theme of Resonance. Countries such as Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, Poland and the Nile Region have all created projects to be shown inside of Somerset House. 

Explore the different artistic perspectives, from Antarctica’s installation created by Ben Cullen Williams which spans the important question ‘if the melt is irreversible or whether there is hope if we can act now’, to Czech Republic’s design Planes of Perception, created by Petr Stanický, which delves into ‘the human axial bodily experience of space in favour of a variation of other options’. 

Designed with both lovers of nature and art combined, you won’t want to miss the London Design Biennale this summer.

London Design Biennale 2021 runs 1st-27th June 2021. For more information head to somersethouse.org.uk or visit londondesignbiennale.com

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