Emotional States

4 - 23 September 2018

Somerset House

The second edition of the London Design Biennale opened its doors in 2018 at Somerset House.

The theme 'Emotional States' was a diverse, global commentary on our emotionally turbulent times. 

40 countries, cities and territories presented installations that interrogated the ways in which design affects every aspect of our lives, and influences our very being, emotions and experiences.



London Design Biennale awarded four Medals to its participating countries and territories. The International Jury awarded Egypt the London Design Biennale Medal, the United States of America the Theme Medal and Latvia the Best Design Medal. In addition for 2018, the Jury chose to recognise two participants with Honourable Mentions - China and Poland. Guatemala was awarded the Public Medal, voted by the visitors.

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Medal winners (centre) with Sir John Sorrell (left) and Ben Evans (right). Photo by Mark Cocksedge

Egypt - ‘Modernist Indignation’ was awarded the London Design Biennale Medal 2018 for the most outstanding overall contribution. Photo by Mark Cocksedge

The United States of America - ‘Face Values’ was awarded the London Design Biennale Theme Medal, for the most inspiring interpretation of the theme. Photo by Mark Cocksedge

Latvia - ‘Matter to Matter’ was awarded the London Design Biennale Best Design Medal for the most exceptional design. Photo by Mark Cocksedge

Guatemala - ‘Palopó’ was awarded the London Design Biennale Public Medal, voted for by the public over the course of the Biennale. Photo by Jonathan Hordle PA Wire

Members of the International Jury. Photo by Mark Cocksedge

The 2018 Medals were designed by London-based jewellery studio Shimell and Madden

Brand Identity

For the second consecutive edition, Domenic Lippa and his team at Pentagram created the visual identity and promotional materials for the Biennale. As with the previous identity, a restricted colour palette of orange, black and white was used. In response to the theme of Emotional States and taking inspiration from Charles Darwin’s seven universal emotions, Pentagram created and commissioned a series of arresting masks handmade by Wakefield-based paper artist Andy Singleton and photographed by London-based John Ross.

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