Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Chilean Pavilion at the London Design Biennial wins gold medal

The Chilean Pavilion Tectonic Resonances, curated by UC Design teachers and designers, was awarded the gold medal at the 2021 London Design Biennial. The thematic center of the show revolves around the country’s tectonic reality, the role of the Andes and its stones, both in ancient culture, current life, but also the resonance of the Chilean territory in the accelerated development of global technologies.

The Chilean pavilion Resonancias Tectónicas, curated by Carola Ureta, Marcos Chilet, Martín Tironi and Pablo Hermansen, UC Design teachers and designers , was awarded the gold medal at the 2021 London Design Biennial. The proposal was recognized among 29 pavilions in the world, for being the most outstanding in terms of contribution and impact.

“The 2021 London Design Biennale medal winners clearly demonstrate how brilliant design can be by telling complex stories that communicate directly with hearts and minds. This year we discovered more than ever that the issues that people really care about (visitors and exhibitors) are shared issues, providing additional strength and an opportunity to show how design can really make a difference, “commented John Sorrell, President. from the London Design Biennale.

“This year we discovered more than ever that the issues people really care about (visitors and exhibitors) are shared issues, providing additional strength and an opportunity to show how design can really make a difference” – John Sorrell, President from the London Design Biennale.

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The thematic center of the pavilion revolved around the tectonic reality of the country, the role of the Andes and its stones, both in the ancestral culture, current life, but also the resonance of the Chilean territory in the accelerated development of global technologies. “For this we decided to remove the stones from the global chain of raw materials and make them resonate. Hitting stones to produce sounds is a very simple activity, but it has enormous political and cultural depth ”, they comment from the curatorial team. “Chile is a country of rocks that resonate, and for the team behind the Pavilion, this is the starting point for a decolonizing discourse of design in the south, they add.

About the Pavilion

Housed in one of the Somerset House spaces set up for the Biennial, the Chilean pavilion gives an account of the tectonic history of the Andes through a series of blue-tinted infographics. An action that connects the geological with the geographical, the futuristic with the ancestral, the local with the global. In the center, the lithophones (or sound stones) that come from various quarries in Chile, and that visitors can hit producing sounds. On one of the walls, visitors can interact with the audiovisual installation, which captures, using specially designed software, the frequencies of the stones when they are struck and generates graphics that represent the sounds of the lithophones resounding in the place.

Housed in one of the Somerset House spaces set up for the Biennial, the Chilean pavilion gives an account of the tectonic history of the Andes through a series of blue-tinted infographics. An action that connects the geological with the geographical, the futuristic with the ancestral, the local with the global.

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A multidisciplinary team composed of Macarena Irarrázaval, who designed the lithophonic stones, also participated in the proposal. The graphic proposal was in charge of the designer Valentina Aliaga and the industrial design proposal in charge of the UC designers office, Sistema Simple Estudio; the design of the interactive installation by Design System International, among others.

“The pavilion tries to materialize a reflection on the possibilities of design to redefine our ways of relating to the planet, proposing a future in greater resonance and correspondence with the environment. The pavilion’s call is to distance itself from anthropocentric design (centered on the user and consumption) to visualize a design centered on the planet, which we consider as a condition for the generation of more sustainable and inclusive worlds ”, explain the curators.

The Chilean pavilion had the support of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, in conjunction with ProChile and the Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DIRAC) and with the collaboration of the Embassy of Chile in the United Kingdom. and with the support of the British Council and the Anglo Chilean Society.

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