The inaugural London Design Biennale debuted this year under the titles ‘Utopia by Design’, thus celebrating 500 years since the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Illuminating the halls of Somerset House are 37 utopian visions, prototypes, and designs from all continents. British Jaguar Auto, the main event sponsor, raced to present its own conceptual installation to symbolize the utopian future.
Jaguar – A Brand of Artistic Inclinations
“A pretty face may be enough to catch a man, but it takes character and good nature to hold him.” – Thomas More, Utopia
Jaguar Auto’s laser light show aims to be more than just a ‘pretty face’ wooing the audience. In essence, the project revolves around recreating the story of the luxury brand’s rich heritage.
Using lasers and light guide tech to draw the outlines of the vehicle’s lean body, the design team at Jaguar Auto, run by director of design Ian Callum, strived to incorporate the past, present, and future into one.
In this case, ‘time capsule’ is a more than appropriate name for a project racing through the ages. Video footage is on display to admiringly present the brand’s endurance on the auto industry scene and its success, such as the 1988 motor sporting victory at Le Mans.
As the laser cuts a streak of light across the room, the iconic silhouette of the E-Type Jaguar materializes for a second, only to instantly and almost magically transform into the family sports car of today, the F-PACE. The play on the eye translates to a translucent vehicle floating in mid-air.
“The way to heaven out of all places is of length and distance.”
Jaguar Auto certainly reads an impressive mileage on its history’s board. Still, the road ahead is always foggy, if not uncertain. The challenge now is to keep visibility in good condition.
The ‘gallery of the future’ talks about tackling a rapidly changing world, not ‘turning any corners’ at high speed, but creating the car to fit the next generation. Jaguar Auto’s creative specialist, Hugo Nightingale has also put together a three-dimensional sculpture of the brand’s vision of the future.
The Place of a Luxury Car Brand at the London Design Biennale
The London Design Biennale, on display until Sept.27 and open to the public for a $20 fee, has already named its first medal winners. These include a Lebanese Street Market offering a colorful tapestry of Beirut’s vaporous street life packed with kebab shops, bakeries, local cinemas, and barbershops. Or the lost archives of a Soviet design scene that, remarkably, was truly utopian in its aspirations.
Jaguar Auto chose their own winner and awarded Switzerland the Jaguar Innovation Medal. The themes focused on migration, pollution, and sustainability.
“As well as presenting our own installation, we have the opportunity to learn from other artists around the world and see what they have to offer, which is both interesting and invaluable”, said Ian Callum.
For a luxury car brand like the Jaguar Auto, art events such as the Biennale is a chance to connect with international designers and interested consumers. After all, the high-end of the social scene have acted before as patrons of arts for the designers of tomorrow’s utopia.