The global design community has collaborated to launch the first virtual design festival in response to the coronavirus lockdown. Products and talks from the schedules of Design Indaba and Stockholm, San Francisco and Vienna Design Weeks will appear alongside performances and exhibitions from the Serpentine Gallery, the London Festival of Architecture and New York architecture conference The World Around. All have been closed or cancelled due to Covid-19.
The Virtual Design Festival (VDF) – which runs from 15 April to 30 June – was conceived by the team at interiors and architecture digital magazine Dezeen.
“The architecture and design world has been affected by the pandemic, with key trade events and festivals cancelled and practitioners having to find new ways to sustain their business,” says Marcus Fairs, editor-in-chief of Dezeen. “It felt natural to come up with an online platform to showcase projects and connect architects, designers, and creatives across the globe.”
Planned events include gigs by award-winning experimental singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe and pianist and sound designer Rosey Chan, a programme of interviews organised by New York’s The Metropolitan Museum of Arts architecture and design curator Beatrice Galilee for Earth Day (22 April) and a digital exhibition of work created by architect and artist Ron Arad, who calls the VDF “a great initiative to bring us together at this extraordinary time”.
Arad’s pieces are from his DFWTM series of artworks (a set of 20 fibreglass seat-like structures). “There’s a piece I made on 31 January – the day we left the EU. I bought the newspapers of the day – all screaming Brexit – on the way to the studio. They were cut, torn and embedded in unset polyester. We thought we were ‘freezing’ the most life-changing day in the UK. Little did we know.”
• The Virtual Design Festival runs from 15 April to 30 June.