London Design Biennale 

London Design Biennale
London Design Biennale is a global gathering of the world’s most ambitious and imaginative designers, curators and design institutions. The third edition will take place from 8 - 27 September 2020 at Somerset House.

Es Devlin has been named Artistic Director for 2020 and has chosen 'Resonance' as the theme, which over 50 countries and territories will respond to in their installations and presentations across the entirety of the site.

Capitalising on its first two editions, London Design Biennale 2020 will provoke debate and an engaging exchange of ideas about the universal impact of design in contemporary culture. It will explore design’s potential as a transformative global tool and show its power to inspire, inform and entertain.

Devlin explains, "We live in an age of hyper resonance, the consequences of which are both exhilarating and devastating. Everything we design and everything we produce resonates. Each idea we generate has the power to reach a mass digital audience undreamt of by previous generations, while the lifespans of the physical products we create often endure long beyond our own. Whether in the social media feeds of millions or in the bellies of marine animals, our ideas and our objects stick around.

In our global, digital era, design can instantly permeate borders and bridge cultures. It can positively alter behaviours and transform societies. Attitudes can evolve and lives can be improved when new ideas resonate and are adopted by extended communities.

At the same time, we are living through the ravaging resonance of mineral mining on our climate and data mining on our democracies. Ours is a period of profound social inequality combined with unprecedented algorithmic application of our personal data, often herding us towards digital echo chambers and ever more siloed communities.

Designers across the world have been engaged for decades devising responses to these phenomena: developing renewable energy technologies, electric vehicles, smart products and textiles, intelligent architecture, and potent graphic design and digital messaging, as well as physical and virtual experiences and environments that shift our emotions and alter our points of view.

Designers, thinkers, artists and makers have the power to influence and amaze their audiences into profound shifts of perspective, using the mass networks available to them to resonate ideas and practices to help build a more sustainable future.

However, we also face the intractable dilemma that we often find ourselves using resources to talk about the overconsumption of resources. Let’s face this challenge head on and commit to a sustainable legacy for each new work created for London Design Biennale.

As a community of designers approaching shared global challenges from culturally diverse viewpoints, the collective resonance of our ideas and our actions has the power to be truly transformative."

Participating Country (country, territory or city): Venezuela

Full Name:
María Elena Pombo

Organisation / Studio Name:


Job Title:

Designer or Curator:

Proposed Curator:
María Elena Pombo

Administering Body:
Embassy of Venezuela in Canada, Orlando Viera Blanco (?)
Proposed Design Team Contact Names and Roles:

Proposed Design Team Contact Names and Roles:

Maria Elena Pombo - Director - Venezuelan in New York
  • Reponsible for all design decisions
  • Coordinates all information between design team, LDB team and approved contractors

Griffin Moore - Co-Director - American
  • Responsible

Jerilyn Goncalvez - Music - Venezuelan in Spain
  • Re

Alasia Reyes - Architect - Venezuelan in Greece
  • Res

Gaston Larrazabal - Science Consultant - Venezuelan in Denmark
  • ddd

Lea Bonnet - Coordinator - French
  • Responsible for live operations during public opening, trouble-shooting and point of contact with LDB live team

Giulio Vita - Marketing / PR & Funding - Venezuelan in Italy
  • Responsible for external communications and marketing, coordinates actiivty with LDB communications team and PR agency
  • Responsible for coordinating funding sources and point of contact for invoices / payment queries

Proposed design team project experience:

María Elena Pombo is a Venezuelan artist based in New York working with plants and fiber, under the monicker Fragmentario with the intention to start conversations about time, culture and collective consciousness.  Using plants to color fabric, she reimagines in a modern context the long-lost tradition of natural dyes, which was once prevalent across all culture. Pombo studied fashion design at Parsons school of Design in New York and is a former designer at Michael Kors. Before this, she studied engineering in Venezuela and in France. This diverse formation informs her work, which is at the intersection of art and science.  She had worked with a diverse range of clients including HBO, BMW/MINI USA, Parsons School of Design, Lululemon and Melissa Shoes. Pombo has shown her work in different countries in Europe, as well as Japan and the USA. She continuously teaches workshops on textile experimentation in unexpected venues, like a rice-cracker factory in Japan, a sustainable laundromat in Brooklyn, a film festival in Italy and SXSW in Texas. She is the creator of the curriculum for natural dyes classes at both the New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  With her work, Pombo hopes to inspire others to question and create.

Project Description (300 words)

Avocado Civilization:
House and objects made using avocado seeds. Commentary on resonance of material itself, on high consumption of avocados, or appropriation of avocados from the “west” (case of Quinoa). Commentary of

Please attach ONE file which includes any imagery, sketches and/or floorplans that will help us to visualise your proposal. Please also include any estimated dimensions, weights and descriptions of individual or overall components if known at this stage. Files must be less than 5 MB. Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx.

  • Fotos de ladrillos y utensilios de aguacate (maracas de concha de aguacate, reloj de “arena” de polvo de aguacate)
  • Fotos de telas de aguacate y de fibras de aguacate
  • Fotos de prendas de aguacate
  • Rendering, sketches de las casas de aguacate
  • Planos de como va a estar todo distribuido
  • I think I would like some TVs and Radios
  • Clothes?
  • Eat and make performance?

Audience engagement / visitor experience

Please describe how you anticipate the audience engaging with your installation (e.g. are they allowed to touch the works, do they take something away, do they observe / move through the piece).

  • They can touch it (not sure about the bioplastics?)
  • Maybe they can take away avocado seeds or avocado seed powder
  • They can get inside the house, sit on the chair play with the objects

Estimated budget for project before VAT

Please outline your overall estimated budget for this project. The budget should include: Fees to design teams, material and production costs, project management and delivery, packing and shipping, Public & Products Liability Insurance (£10m required), permissions and copyright, lighting, installation and de-installation. Please note that VAT charge in the United Kingdom is 20%.

Fees to design teams: 10,000 - 20,000

Material and production costs: 1,000 - 10,000

Project Management and Delivery: 1,000 - 2,000

Packing and Shipping: 1,000 - 2,000

Public & Products Liability Insurance: 1,000 - 2,000

Permissions and Copyright: Music? 1,000

Lighting: 500 - 2,000 ?

Installation & De-Installation: 1,000 - 5,000

Total: 17,000 - 44,000

Participation: 6,000

Total: 23,000 - 50,000

Proposed funding sources and strategy

Please outline your ideas for funding sources and strategy, including any grants, donations, internal resources and/or sponsor support along with their projected cash flow.

  • Internal Resources
  • Donations
  • Grants (Awesome Foundation, ???)
  • Sponsor Support: Embassies in exhile; Avocado bodies?; Look on Materiom and ask those people: Ellen McCarthur Foundation, things like that
  • Carmen bousquets
  • Thor norway venezuelan guy in NY
  • Polar?
Estimated budget for participation

Please input your overall estimated budget for the participation fee to allow us to assist you in finding the perfect space. The participation fee includes: - Venue hire; - Press and PR services including catalogue, social media and outdoor advertising; Please note that VAT charge in the United Kingdom is 20%.