The 2021 London Design Biennale art director, renowned artist and stage designer, Es Devlin planted 400 trees in the otherwise empty courtyard at Somerset House for “The Forest for Change” installation. The neoclassical complex was built in accordance with Enlightenment ideals; “principles of simplicity, symmetry, mathematical precision and absolute functionality” that rebuffed the opulent designs of preceding baroque and rococo eras. In fact, no trees were allowed to be planted in Somerset House since its architect Sir William Chambers forbade it 250 years ago. Again rebuking past design principles, Devlin had 23 species of trees (all native to the region) planted in the cobblestone courtyard. Visitors are encouraged to wander through the forest, which houses colorful pillars in the middle, all of which display information about climate, health, inequality and other big issues. Read more at The Conversation.
Image courtesy of Ed Reeve / The Conversation