BCU Alumna selected for London Design Biennale


BCU Alumna Zoe Partington, has had her artwork ‘Decoding Difference’ selected for exhibition at London Design Biennale 2023.

Decoding Difference uses Zoe’s experience of being partially blind and living with diabetes for 50 years to create a light and sound installation.

The installation’s light and sound mirror the physiology of Zoe’s glucose levels and heartbeat, as live captured data is transmitted directly from a sensor implanted in her arm.

Zoe said: “With Decoding Difference, I reflect on how my inner health may fluctuate daily, but the technology empowers me to continue navigating my own full life alongside the discriminatory barriers I experience to everyday life.”

Zoe graduated from BCU in 1994, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Design, Architecture, Philosophy and Business.

She has since gone on to work in Australia, Tasmania, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Italy, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.

A specialist in creative audio description and inclusive approaches in the arts, Zoe also works as a curator, writer, researcher, and creative equality trainer.

She also advised committees in Brazil and Japan on the inclusion of disabled audiences prior to the Cultural Olympiads.

The alumna has also been supported on her journey by Arts Council England and has equally advised them on equality provision.

Zoe said: “As a disabled artist, I have always known that having a rich creative and inner life was not dependent on being able to see or to navigate the world in a conventional fashion.

“During the pandemic, non-disabled people began noticing this too, with a fresh appreciation of their own physiology, and of the emotional impact of non-visual experiences, such as birdsong or the scent of cut grass.”

The Biennale, which is the global gathering of the world’s most ambitious and imaginative designers, curators and design institutes, runs from 1-25 June at Somerset House in London. Zoe’s artwork is part of King’s College London’s “Eureka” exhibition, which is in the Seeking Connection Pavilion.

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