• Sam Furness

LOVE IS UNDERSTANDING A headline installation for the London Design Festival/ Brixton Design Trail 2017 Collaboration between artist Sam Furness and designer Toni Hollis An installation that explores and celebrates the many languages spoken in Brixton. In lexicons worldwide, words exist that are untranslatable to the English language. Not any old words either. Magic words that seemingly have the power and ability to express and define complex emotions and situations which we all feel but have not developed the specific vocabulary to express in English. ​Untranslation took over the flag filled rafters of the iconic Brixton Village and Market Row spaces and has transformed them into a cultural design dictionary, bursting with unique words and their meanings from countries all around the world. Each untranslatable word is set against a flag design inspired by the visual culture and design history of the country that language belongs too. The aim was to offer a designed perspective on how different cultures see and interpret the world. Untranslation was featured as a highlight by the Evening Standard & The Culture Trip and was a permanent fixture of the markets for two years, seen by thousands of people every week.

A big part of this project invovled surverying all traders in Brixton Village markets to learn their nationalities and languges spoken. From this list we researched works in all these languages which are completely unique. This was a great process and we got to know many of the traders in the market really well. We hung the relevant flags outside their businesses.