This week’s VDF highlights include Lucy McRae, Fabio Novembre, Istanbul Design Biennial and a live show from Imogen Heap
The final week of VDF featured live performances from Imogen Heap and Lucy McRae, collaborations with Dutch Design Week and Istanbul Design Biennial, plus a virtual tour of DesignAware‘s Hilltop School in Hyderabad, India.
Virtual Design Festival, the world’s first online design festival, ran from 15 April until 10 July. Visit dezeen.com/vdf/schedule to look back at the full schedule of events, including live interviews and panel discussions, product launches, film premiers and much more.
Monday 6 July
VDF x Lensvelt: The week started off with a series of live talks with Lensvelt, which featured some of the Dutch furniture makers’ frequent collaborators and explored their work for the brand.
First, owner Hans Lensvelt shared an introduction to the company and its history starting from when it was founded by his late father in 1962.
Next, Dutch designer Maarten Baas joined Lensvelt to discuss a series of chairs with irregularly shaped backrests, which he designed for the brand and first launched at Salone del Mobile in 2017.
Designer and Dezeen Awards judge Joep van Lieshout looked back at his long history of creating “modern classics” for Lensvelt, while Fabio Novembre explored the design process behind his modular New Balance Sofa from 2019.
Throughout the week, the collaborations themselves were also on show at the VDF products fair, starting with three pieces by Baas, Novembre and Studio Job, followed by van Lieshout’s AVL collection and finally three further products designed by OMA, Richard Hutten and Staat.
Tuesday 7 July
VDF x Moooi: In a live interview, Dezeen’s editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs spoke to Kiki and Joost co-founder Joost van Bleijswijk and creative director of Marcel Wanders Gabriele Chiave about the launch of their respective lighting designs for Dutch brand Moooi.
Chiave’s Hubble Bubble is an ode to the childhood joy of blowing soap bubbles, while Tinkering features a hanging network of black metal rods. Both designs were officially launched at the VDF products fair, which offers brands and designers an affordable platform for showcasing new releases.
VDF x Istanbul Design Biennial: Istanbul Design Biennial curator Mariana Pestana and the event’s director Deniz Ova joined us for a live talk about this year’s programme, which under the theme of Empathy Revisited will explore “designs for multiple bodies, dimensions, and perspectives”.
Wednesday 8 July
Screentime with DesignAware: As part of our ongoing Screentime series of live interviews, architect Takbir Fatima of DesignAware spoke to Dezeen’s Marcus Fairs about some of the Indian studio’s most notable projects and its focus on accessible, environmentally and socially responsible design.
Thursday 9 July
VDF x Institute of Architecture: In this short film premiere, the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna showcased work from 13 graduates, including a concept for a post-pandemic theatre and a vertical food hub that follows circular economic principles.
VDF x Lucy McRae: Los Angeles-based artist and “body architect” Lucy McRae shared a three-part programme at VDF that kicked off with a screening of her film The Institute of Isolation. This explores a near future in which humans attempt to evolve their bodies to cope with long-distance space travel.
She also used the festival as a platform to release images from her latest project, called Solitary Survival Raft, which consists of an inflatable orange lifeboat that is designed to comfort its lonely occupant on their journey into the unknown.
The day was rounded off by a live Screentime interview and performance in which McRae demonstrated how to use the raft.
Friday 10 July
VDF x Dutch Design Week: A live panel discussion saw designer Kiki van Eijk of Kiki & Joost, Design Academy Eindhoven creative director Joseph Grima and Dutch Design Foundation director Martijn Paulen explore how the Dutch Design Week has adapted to a socially-distanced world, and how that is reflected in this year’s theme of The New Intimacy.
VDF x Friedman Benda: In the final episode of our collaboration with New York gallery Friedman Benda, V&A East director Gus Casely-Hayford discussed how the new outpost of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will to speak to the culturally and ethnically diverse community in which it is set to be built.
VDF x Henrybuilt: Scott Hudson, the CEO of American design company Henrybuilt, joined Marcus Fairs for a live interview to discuss the brand’s history of designing custom projects and living spaces, as well as its recent pivot to product design.
The company’s first collection of customisable furniture, called Primary Objects, was showcased at the VDF products fair.
VDF x Imogen Heap: The final day of VDF closed with an interview and live performance by musician Imogen Heap, in which she showcased her Mi.Mu gloves that create music through hand gestures, as well as a new AI device through which she communicates with her fans.
Did you miss week 12? Read our summary of the highlights, including live talks with Design Indaba‘s Ravi Naidoo and OMA‘s David Gianotten, plus designer Yinka Ilori jogging across London during a relay panel discussion.
Did you miss week ten? Read our summary of the highlights, including a live interviews with Lee Broom, a panel discussion featuring Space Copenhagen and Neri&Hu, plus the launch of our collaboration with Vitra.
Did you miss week seven? Read our summary of the highlights, including an exclusive product launch and live interview with Tom Dixon as well as an all-star architects roundtable including Junya Ishigami and Counterspace.
Did you miss week three? Read our summary of the highlights, including a video message from Ben van Berkel and an exclusive screening of Gary Hustwit’s Dieter Rams documentary.
Did you miss week two? Read the summary of the highlights from the second week, including Ron Arad, SO-IL, Kunlé Adeyemi, Nelly Ben Hayoun, Beatie Wolfe and Studio Drift.
Did you miss week one? Read the summary of the first week’s highlights include live interviews with Li Edelkoort and Klein Dytham Architecture plus the now-legendary VDF launch movie.
Virtual Design Festival, the world’s first digital design festival, ran from 15 April to 10 July 2020 and was sponsored by bathroom and kitchen manufacturer Grohe. For more information about VDF or to join the mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.