London pushes its Design Biennale and design fairs to 2021

In Brief

London pushes its Design Biennale and design fairs to 2021

In 2018, the U.S. Pavilion at the London Design Biennale was overseen by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Seen here is Face Values, an interactive exhibition that warps and distorts facial recognition data. (Ed Reeve)

Cultural institutions around the world are slowly starting to reopen or staking out tentative dates after coronavirus pandemic-related closures, but design festivals, by their international and communal natures, are by-and-large pushing things back to 2021.

That includes London, where infection rates for COVID-19 are still slowly creeping upward. As a result, yesterday the organizers of three major London exhibitions and design fairs announced that they would be delaying their events to 2021 as well.

The third edition of the London Design Biennale, which was originally scheduled to run from September 8 through 27, has been moved to June 2021 (no specific dates have been given yet). Additionally, the London Design Fair, which was set to take place from September 17 to 20 as part of the Biennale, will take place at an as-of-yet unspecified date in 2021.

Clerkenwell Design Week, a design festival and showroom “crawl” across the eponymous London neighborhood, was originally scheduled as usual to run from May 19 through 21 of this year, but was first pushed to July 14 through 16, then to May 25 through 27 of 2021.

“The countries, cities and territories in our international network are core to our mission,” reads the London Design Biennale postponement announcement. “Keeping our visitors and designers safe remains our priority and given the current international travel restrictions and potential quarantine requirements, we are postponing the 2020 Biennale exhibition to 2021. The third edition will now take place in June 2021, still at Somerset House, London.”