June 11, 2021 | Life & Culture

Chile turns heads at the London Design Biennale with its “Tectonic Resonances” exhibit

Chile turns heads at the London Design Biennale with its “Tectonic Resonances” exhibit | Marca Chile

Chile will be part of the London Design Biennale III until June 27, with its “Tectonic Resonances” exhibit in the Chilean pavilion, displayed in the British capital’s historic Somerset House.

Eleven days after the opening of the London Design Biennale, the Chilean pavilion has stood out with “Tectonic Resonances”, an exhibit that invites visitors to interact with the work. It has inspired a great deal of interest among both experts and the general public, so much so that it has been recognized by international media outlets such as The Guardian, Time Out, Design Week Magazine and Forbes.

This year, the third London Design Biennale is comprised of 29 pavilions, including Chile’s. Diverse countries, territories and cities were invited to participate in the international event, which runs from June 1 to 27. Artistic Director Es Devlin invited the world’s most talented and imaginative designers and curators to develop works based on the theme of resonance. The pavilions are presenting their pieces in the historic setting of Somerset House, one of London’s most emblematic buildings.

Chile’s “Tectonic Resonances” exhibit focuses on the sonorous properties of Andean rocks. It engages with the Biennale’s central theme using ancestral technologies built out of stone, which relate to both the first signs of design in Latin America and to the beginning of the Anthropocene. The pavilion was curated by Marcos Chilet, Pablo Hermansen and Martín Tironi, designers and teachers in the School of Design at the Universidad Católica, alongside the designer Carola Ureta and an all-star team featuring lithophonic stone designer Macarena Irarrázaval, designer Valentina Aliaga, and the studios Design System International and Sistema Simple Estudio.

The team gathered and studied a collection of lithophones (stone instruments that produce a vibration when struck) from quarries, deserts and the Andean Mountains. Today, visitors can interact with the stones through the primitive act of striking them to generate an expressive sound that speaks of Chile, a country in which the rocks and the mountains resound, whether through the thunder of earthquakes, the blasting of the minerals excavated in the mines or the echoes of ancestral lithic technologies.

The pavilion also includes a geological map of the Andes marked with key points, such as the location of mining projects, earthquake epicenters, communities of resistance and the ancestral communities of artisans that work in stone. Seven lithophones made from rocks of different colors, textures and forms sit in the center of the room, co-created by artisans, musicians and designers. When audiences interact with them, they create a diverse sonorous scene. The room also has three large screens that record the visitors’ interactions with the lithophones, transforming the space into the epicenter of a tectonic event.

Visitors are welcome to explore this fascinating exhibit created by Chilean talent until June 27. For more information, visit the Biennale’s website.

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