Whilst spending so much time over the past year and a half sitting at home looking at a screen and missing real life experiences, I’ve welcomed any work that genuinely put a smile on my face or a lump in my throat. Adversity certainly does push creativity into new realms - we’ve seen some awesome work coming out of the UK recently, and I’ve chosen a few examples that I consider to be beautifully crafted and impactful in delivery...
London Design Biennale 2021 Installation - 'Forest for Change'
Agency: Es Devlin
Whilst there was some debate about the originality of the idea, I thought this multimedia experience installed at Somerset House was a success. Designed in collaboration with landscape designer, Philip Jaffa, and with sound curated by Brian Eno, the space delivered content relating to the UN’s global goals for tackling the effect on trees by human activity. I felt the online Google Arts and Culture experience was less successful, but in reality, the immersion in the urban forest was a welcome antidote to months of digital-only experiences.
Airbnb x Disney - 'Bearbnb'
Agency: Hope&Glory x The Academy
Curator: Kim Raymond
To celebrate Winnie the Pooh’s 95th anniversary this year, this unique activation is a clever move open for two days - the 'Bearbnb
'. It's a treehouse in the 'Hundred Acre Wood' and allows up to four guests to indulge themselves in the world of Pooh! It’s a magical place and the attention to detail is lovely, with house rules including 'A snack of a little something at 11 o'clock' and 'Multiple naps' being encouraged, this really
is my kind of place for a weekend away.
Mercedes - 'Everything but Quiet'
Director: Aoife McArdle
This is awesome...the art direction, scripting, shooting and performance is so cool and seamlessly blurs the boundary between artist and product. What really works is that it goes in both directions, serving as a music video for Will.i.am and as an ad for Mercedes, with artist and vehicle sharing the stage equally.
Manchester International Festival - 'All of This Unreal Time'
Music: Jon Hopkins x Aaron and Bryce Dessner
Part short film, part immersive installation, this was the first time I escaped from lockdown and came blinking into the real world to see something live. The MIF did a great job of creating an immersive viewing experience, with the lighting and projection beautifully sequenced, and the Dessner Brothers (The National) and Jon Hopkins' soundtrack alongside the film playing out on a large screen. The build up to the film starting was almost as good as the piece itself, which features a soul-searching Cillian Murphy trudging through a deserted London. It is now available to watch at home
with the lights down and the volume up.
Nike - 'The Land of New Football'
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
A powerful film celebrating 'the birth of a new land where there are no borders, only chalk or paint', and featuring a beautifully eclectic cast of footballers, including Marcus Rashford, Richarlison de Andrade, Pernille Harder, Natalia Gaitan and the UK’s first Muslim woman referee, JJ Robles. A continuation of Nike’s work in social activism and inclusivity, W+K has done an awesome job of creating a fast-paced, beautifully shot piece of work. It has all the ingredients to deliver a powerful message - it is funny, well-crafted and delivers a message of inclusivity that is much needed in UK football.
E.ON - 'Air Heroes'
A truly unique piece of work. E.ON collaborates with Scamp & Dude to create a cape for children that absorbs and disintegrates air pollution...wait, what!? The cross platform campaign
encourages kids to enter a competition to win a cape and become an 'Air Hero'. Not sure my kids would wear it, but I like the originality of both the thinking and