Innovation That Matters

Forest of Change comprises 400 trees that fill Somerset House's historic courtyard | Photo source Forest for Change

Urban forest at Somerset House raises climate awareness


Amidst a forest of 400 trees in Somerset House’s courtyard, visitors will find 17 mirrored pillars representing the 17 Global Goals

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Spotted: As part of this year’s London Design Biennale, British designer Es Devlin has installed a forest in the courtyard of Somerset House, which is where Springwise headquarters are based. The project aims to further awareness of the United Nations’ initiative Global Goals.

Named Forest for Change, it consists of 400 trees from 23 different species that are commonly found in the UK and northern Europe. The installation has been created in collaboration with landscape designer Philip Jaffa and Scotscape.

Devlin, who is this year’s London Design Biennale artistic director, described Forest for Change to Dezeen as “a place of transformation” and said that she was inspired by the forests in Shakespeare, where characters go in as one thing and come out as another. 

The installation is also known as The Global Goals Pavilion and is presented in partnership with Project Everyone, a not-for-profit agency that aims to further awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Global Goals are a set of 17 objectives aimed at making the world a better place by 2030. Visitors to the forest are given the opportunity to explore each goal with a showcase of quotes and facts on colourful mirrored pillars.

Also included is a curated collection of birdsongs courtesy of Brian Eno, which play throughout the forest and feature species from all over the world. Visitors are also invited to record their own short message about what change they want to see to help fulfil a global goal. The message will be added to the music installation. 

According to the London Design Biennale, Forest for Change will be carbon positive, as the trees will in time be donated to London boroughs and planted out as part of a tree-planting initiative, The Queen’s Green Canopy. This should offset the installation’s carbon footprint three times over.

The biennale takes place in London from 1 to 27 June.

Explore more: Architecture & Design Innovations | Sustainability Innovations



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