Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby worked alongside the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art and design, to create Forecast - a wind powered installation.
Supported by British Land, the piece was displayed in the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House in September 2016, as the UK’s entry to the first London Design Biennale, alongside design installations from over 35 other nations. Forecast responded to the inaugural Biennale’s theme ‘Utopia by Design’; a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text, as part of Somerset House’s UTOPIA 2016 season.
Built by Brilliant Stages, with engineering by Arup, the installation comprised of a group of wind masts and rotating elements, inspired by weather measuring instruments. Movement is triggered as the wind picks up or changes direction, creating a simple kinetic sculpture that responds to the elements. Forecast calls to mind a romantic image of Britain’s great maritime history, with tall ships, towering masts and fluttering sails, simultaneously evoking wind turbines and weather stations.
It also reflects the necessity to respond imaginatively to the need for environmental action in the face of the precarious state of the planet. The UK is at the forefront of the development in wind energy, with as much offshore capacity already installed as the rest of the world combined.