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03 May 2023

King's exhibits research at 2023 London Design Biennale

The King’s pavilion 'Seeking Connection' will showcase creative, cross-disciplinary research into digital technologies from across the university.

King's pavilion, entitled 'Seeking Connection', is designed by Alphabetical.

Research from across King’s will feature in Eureka, the exhibition of design-led research taking place across UK universities, as part of the 2023 London Design Biennale. On display from 1 – 25 June, the King’s pavilion entitled 'Seeking Connection' will invite the visitor on a journey of discovery, from the smallest cell to the vastness of the universe.

Living Well with Technology

Featuring work from across King's and presented in collaboration with King’s Culture and the Digital Futures Institute, 'Seeking Connection' will allow visitors to engage with a selection of transformative interdisciplinary research into digital technologies. The six projects on display explore the different ways we are learning to live well with technology and navigate opportunities for meaningful connections with ourselves, our communities and our planet.  

'Seeking Connection' will be hosted in the Eureka exhibition in Somerset House as part of the 2023 Biennale, a global gathering of the world's most ambitious and imaginative designers, curators and design institutes. Eureka’s purpose is to share design-led innovation from leading research centres and universities, demonstrating cross-disciplinary invention and creativity changing the world of tomorrow.

King’s ‘Seeking Connection’ pavilion at the London Design Biennale unites art and science to inspire curiosity, spark new ideas, and showcase some of the transformative research taking place at King’s in an engaging, accessible way. Collaborating with cultural platforms is an important way to develop and share our latest work, helping us to cultivate a deeper public understanding of how world-leading research and innovation impacts our daily lives. The theme of 'Seeking Connection’ speaks to King’s commitment to understanding how we might live well with current and emerging technologies, and I am delighted we can exhibit these projects that respond to current global challenges as part of an internationally recognised design platform.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King's College London

King’s will be exhibiting alongside works from various institutions including the Centre for Natural Material Innovation at Cambridge University, the Design Age Institute at the Royal College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and University of the Arts London.

'Seeking Connection' presents an amazing opportunity for King’s Culture and the Digital Futures Institute to work with colleagues from across the university to showcase ground-breaking interdisciplinary research to an entirely new audience. In doing so, we support the benefits of academic inquiry in reaching beyond the university and foster an exciting dialogue between researchers and the public. I look forward to seeing Biennale visitors experience the pavilion, as we spark new ideas and generate informed, engaged conversations about the future of digital technology.

Beatrice Pembroke, Executive Director, King's Culture.

'We are thrilled to present this exciting new exhibition, which showcases exceptional research, innovation and creativity from across the university inspiring visitors to think about the role of design in shaping a better future for all,' said Leanne Hammacott, Head of Programming for King's Culture. 'It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our programming team and designers, who have worked tirelessly to curate a diverse and thought-provoking collection of exhibits. We can't wait for visitors to come and experience the creativity and ingenuity on display'.

About 'Seeking Connection'

Six projects from across King’s will be on display in the 'Seeking Connection' pavilion. The pavilion is designed by Alphabetical, and produced by Jenna Mason


Starting with the self, Purrble asks ‘how can digital design help us better understand our minds and bodies?’ Visitors have the chance to meet Purrble, the cuddly companion designed to guide emotion regulation for young people struggling with their mental health.

Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences. Presented by Dr Petr Slovak, Dr A. Jess Williams, Dr Seray Ibrahim, Nikki Theofanopoulou, Melina Petsolari and Phoebe Staab.


We're excited to showcase our research on how the Purrble companion can be used by children and young people to support emotion regulation directly in the moments when they are struggling with their mental health. So far, audiences have been highly receptive to it. Using Purrble as a starting point, we are exploring novel ways to support wellbeing and mental health practices across a range of populations and needs. Our team is working to develop and evaluate such interventions right now!

Dr Petr Slovak and Dr A. Jess Williams

Decoding Difference

In Decoding Difference, the sculpture is the artist herself and reflects her hidden impairment. Light and sound mirror Zoe Partington-Beck's changing blood glucose levels and heartbeat, using data that was captured in real-time from a sensor in her body. The piece was originally commissioned as part of the Layers of Vision exhibition at King’s, which was based on ongoing research exploring how museums in the UK make their art collections accessible to blind and partially sighted visitors.

King’s Business School. Presented by Zoe Partington-Beck, Dr Katharina C. Husemann, Craig Clarke and Beatroot AV.

Artist’s sketch of the Decoding Difference installation. Credit Zoe Partington-Beck.
Artist’s sketch of the Decoding Difference installation. Credit Zoe Partington-Beck.


'Seeking Connection' also showcases how King’s research is helping us to understand relationships in our communities. Data shows older adults are increasingly vulnerable to experiencing loneliness, which can lead to poorer physical and mental health. In Deloneliness, visitors can learn about the pioneering design of a smart system with wearable products that measures and combats this.

Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences. Presented by Dr Wei Liu, Prof Sebastien Ourselin, Prof Anthea Tinker, Prof Yu Shi, Dr Faith Matcham, Freya Probst, Dr Jessica Rees and Dr Michela Antonelli.

Illustrative diagram of Deloneliness cycle
Illustrative diagram of Deloneliness cycle

Room is Sad

Room is Sad is an interactive immersive experience that uses AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). In Room is Sad, audiences can discover the story of a smart room that isn’t feeling quite right. The immersive experience raises questions about the relationship between identity, autonomy and privacy today.     

Faculty of Arts & Humanities. Presented by Elliott Hall and Charisma.AI.



'Seeking Connection' explores connectedness with the world around us. Visitors can learn about the communication gaps technology has yet to bridge in Sentinels, a story of a Colombian court judgement intended to protect the Amazon rainforest that resulted in severe consequences for the subsistence farmers cohabiting there.

The Dickson Poon School of Law. Presented by Dr Emily Barritt, Mark Knightley and Crowded Room Theatre Company.

Particle Shrine

In Particle Shrine, visitors can explore invisible cosmic forces that can’t be seen, heard or felt. In an audio-visual experience like no other, creative technologies and live data from four cosmic ray detectors and from the Super-Kamiokande observatory in Japan make the invisible visible.  

Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences. Presented by Dr Teppei Katori, Christo Squier, Chris Ball and Eden Morrison.


London Design Biennale 2023

'Seeking Connection' will be on display 1-25 June 2023, as part of Eureka at the London Design Biennale.

For more information and tickets, visit London Design Biennale website.

In this story

Beatrice Pembroke

Executive Director, Culture

Petr Slovak

Senior Lecturer

Seray Ibrahim

Research Associate

Katharina Charlotte Husemann

Senior Lecturer in Marketing

Wei Liu

Professor of Design Engineering and Innovation

Sebastien Ourselin

Professor of Healthcare Engineering

Jessica Rees

Research Associate

Emily Barritt

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law