London-based designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby have worked alongside the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art and design, to create Forecast - a wind powered installation. Supported by British Land, the piece will be displayed in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House this September, as the UK’s entry to the first London Design Biennale.
Alongside design installations from over 35 other nations, Forecast will respond to the inaugural Biennale’s theme ‘Utopia by Design’; a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text, as part of Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016 season.
Built by Litestructures, with engineering by Arup, the installation will comprise a group of wind masts and rotating elements, inspired by weather measuring instruments. Movement will be triggered as the wind picks up or changes direction, creating a simple kinetic sculpture that responds to the elements.
Forecast calls to mind a romantic image of Britain’s great maritime history, with tall ships, towering masts and fluttering sails, simultaneously evoking wind turbines and weather stations. It also reflects the necessity to respond imaginatively to the need for environmental action in the face of the precarious state of the planet. The UK is at the forefront of the development in wind energy, with as much offshore capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined.