Five fizztastic must-see installations at the Victoria and Albert Museum during the London Design Festival
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
The world's leading museum of arts and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum – aka the V&A – is again a major hub for the London Design Festival, with a clutch of innovative installations on display from 17 to 25 September at the heart of the Brompton Design District.
'FOIL' by Benjamin Hubert
Large-scale immersive installation 'FOIL', by award-winning British designer Benjamin Hubert of Layer, is a 20-metre-long undulating ribbon-like dazzler in the V&A's softly lit Room 94. Surrounded by three 15th-century hunting tapestries, it's formed from 50,000 mirror-finish stainless-steel panels, attached by hand to neoprene sheets and lit by LED spots. Designed with German electronics whizz Braun and riffing on the foil-finish of next-gen shavers, the motor-powered creation produces a waving motion, accompanied by a fluid soundscape, reflecting magical light around the space. 'I want visitors to remember this sculptural landscape viscerally through their senses,' says Hubert. Think tapestry gone tech!
'The Green Room' by studio Glithero
Vibrant kinetic installation 'The Green Room' by studio Glithero (ex-RCA duo Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren and British talent Tim Simpson) is a monumental piece that challenges ideas of what a clock can be, crafted in partnership with luxury watchmaker Panerai. 'We wanted to create a time piece that people could be inside of,' says Simpson of the interactive design, which incorporates a cylindrical curtain of 160 multicoloured silicone cords wrapped around a six-storey domed stairwell. Each cord is attached to a central cam arm rotating at one revolution per minute, moving the cords up 2.5 metres and down again in a seductive parabolic motion. The resulting wave of mobile colour, glimpsed from different levels, is Instagram heaven!
'Liquid Marble' by Mathieu Lehanneur
A large slab of static black marble sculpted to channel the ocean's movement, 'Liquid Marble' by French multidisciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur puts you in a meditative mood. 'The piece doesn't move, but the reflection of light on the polished marble makes it feel like a real sea,' says Lehanneur. Capturing the ocean's waves with 3D software, the designer then machined a single block of jet-black marble to replicate the files before hand-polishing it. The result is a tranquil minimalist contrast to the ornate, gilded Norfolk House Music Room displayed in Room 52.
'Beloved' by Tabanlioglu Architects
Reflective installation 'Beloved' by Istanbul's Tabanlioglu Architects offers glimpses into the story of Madonna in a Fur Coat, a classic Turkish novel recently published in English. The 13-metre-long mirrored black box on a bridge allows you to peek inside cracks to view recreations of the novel in cinematic and physical form, including film, text, light and sound. From a distance it's just a dark box, but on closer examination it has a rich interior life, picking up on the book's theme of never judging by appearance. 'The installation is a physical, multi-sensory realisation of the way the human mind imagines scenes from a book as they read,' explain the architects.
Designer Souvenirs at the V&A Shop
Swing by the rated V&A Shop to scout out contemporary Designer Souvenirs by London designers celebrating the capital, displayed on a purpose-built sky-blue Corian cabinet by Loris&Livia. The quirky collection includes a London postcode clock and Cockney rhyming slang beer mats by Pentagram, and a graphic tubular striped matchbox and pencil also by Loris&Livia inspired by pedestrian crossing Belisha beacons. You can also snap up the range online.
The London Design Festival exhibits at Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, until 25 September 2016