Director of the Biennale, Dr Christopher Turner, explained how the centrality of the theme was fundamental to establishing a strong coherence and curated unity between all participating countries and territories. Design teams were encouraged to create installations that interrogated the history of the utopian idea, and engaged with some of the fundamental issues facing humanity.
Their responses celebrated cultural diversity and showed design's innate power to strike up and inform debate, but also as a catalyst: provoking real change by suggesting inspiring or cautionary futures. Together these visions formed a laboratory of ambitious ideas that might contribute to making the world a better place. And what other objective is there to good design?
Pentagram designed the visual identity, signage and materials for the inaugural edition of the Biennale.
The approach to the identity was informed by Pentagram’s 15 year relationship with London Design Festival. Both the Festival and Biennale aim to widen public awareness of the importance and universal relevance of design in contemporary life and culture, and require clear, bold and recognisable identities which appeal to designers and non-designers alike.
The London Design Biennale’s identity is a bookend for its content. The expanding and contracting logo is a device for entries to sit within, acting as a portal for the installations to take centre stage. The classic colour combination of orange and black is used to make the event and its material highly visible.