London Design Festival 2016 – On the occasion of Britain most influential design week, Victoria & Albert Museum mesmerises visitors with four fluid installations by Glithero, Benjamin Hubert, Matthieu Lehanneur and Stuttgart University researchers.
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London design studio Glithero presents The Green Room, an abstract clock created in collaboration with watch maker Panerai. The installation consists in a 17.5 m long cylindrical curtain made up of 160 multicoloured silicone cords. Each cord loopes over a 3.2 metre-diameter ring and connected to a central rotating cam arm. One by one the strings are lifted, slowly rising 2.5 metres from their starting point before returning back down again.
Looking up from the ground floor or walking up the stairs, visitors are immersed in a wave of colour with a parabolic motion effect. The project aims to “change our perceptions of what a clock can be,” say Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren at Glithero. “We wanted it to feel very much like you’re inside it and that it’s moving around you”.
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French designer Matthieu Lehanneur created Liquid Marble by capturing the complexities of the ocean’s movement with a sophisticated 3D software. A single block of marble was machined to replicate the files. Then it was hand polished to create a reflective surface.
The design is on show in the Norfolk House Music Room (N. 52). “Since the space is very ornate and full of colour, I wanted to contrast it with something absolutely minimalistic.” Says Matthieu Lehanneur. “I also like the contrast between the deep silence of design and the history of room, which hosted the most beautiful symphonies”.
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Benjamin Hubert teamed with electrical brand Braun to create Foil, an immersive installation in the V&A’s Tapestry gallery. Inspired by the movement of a shaver head, the exhibtion features an undulating 20-metre long ribbon made with 50,000 mirror-finish stainless steel.Light from LEDs reflects off the panelled surface to create a slowly morphing and evocative pattern of scattered light, moving across the walls and ceiling of the gallery.
An atmospheric soundscape accompanies the installation emulateing the fluid motion of the sculpture and the reflected light. “Shavers are industrialised consumer goods, but most people don’t appreciate the engineering behind these individual elements” says Benjamin Hubert.
The responsive Elytra Filament Pavilion by researchers of Stuttgart University in Victoria & Albert gardens is inspired by the filament structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles, known as elytra. The glass and carbon fibre pavilion was fabricated using a novel robotic winding technique. The structure spans over 200 sqm weighing less than 2,5 tonnes.
The installation explores the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making. Sensors in the canopy fibres will collect data on how visitors inhabit the pavilion and monitor the structure’s behaviour, ultimately informing how and where the canopy grows.