Three questions with Victoria Broackes

Curio Space at London Design Festival

Incoming to Somerset House in June, London Design Biennale open under the theme of ‘The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations’.

The Artistic Director for 2023 is the Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture. Led by its General and Artistic Director, Aric Chen, the Nieuwe Instituut set the theme that aims to explore the biennale’s format of national and territorial pavilions by inviting participants to imagine and enact new forms of international cooperation and participation—including with each other—through the medium of design.

See above the visual identity by world-renowned studio Pentagram. The design delves into the concept of origins, borders and collaboration. Using places and people as inspiration, the layers build up to a 3D silhouette that has a connection with London and its landmarks.

Below, we chat to Victoria Broackes, the director of London Design Biennale to see how this year’s edition is shaping up.

What are you excited about most for the 2023 edition of LDB?

To be honest I’m most excited about renewed possibilities for direct engagement with our audience (not having any covid restrictions as we did in 2021).  This means interaction within the exhibitions themselves, we can touch again, being able to get together physically at talks, discussions, workshops and of course the parties.  So much of the Biennale is about the life that’s injected by the people – exhibitors and public. All back in full swing.

How will the theme “The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations” manifest in the Biennale?

You will have to visit to find out! Working with Aric Chen and Nieuwe Institute, we know of new inter- national and inter- disciplinary initiatives that have been instigated by the theme and online game that our exhibitors are playing.  It’s a challenge to the national pavilion model typical of biennales, but wholly in keeping with the aims of exchange and collaboration. The results will only be fully visible in June and of course beyond, when we hope exhibitors and public alike will go home with new ideas, connections and inspirations.

Are there any particularly interesting design collaborations that have inspired you in the past?

Shaking up creative processes often leads to interesting outcomes and encouraging remapped collaborations is a way to make that happen.  David Bowie used Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategy cards to shake things up in recording sessions, and the original Crystal Palace/ Great Exhibition hall by Joseph Paxton with its revolutionary modular, prefabrication and use of glass, was based on greenhouse design.