London Design Festival 2013 – Endless Stair: a huge structure inspired by MC Escher’s surreal staircase, rises from the lawn in front of the Tate Modern, overlooking the Thames. Designed by Alex de Rijke of dRMM, Dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, the piece is constructed from a series of giant interlocking staircases formed from American tulipwood and sponsored by American Hardwood Export Council. There are 187 steps and it will be in place until 10 October. Free.
The London Design Festival continues its collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum. As the central hub location, the V&A houses a broad range of commissioned activity which spreads throughout the Museum and includes installations, events, talks and workshops.
Amongst the installations at V&A we suggest 28.280 by Omer Arbel. Enter through the Grand entrance of the V&A and look up. Here you are greeted by the 28.280 custom-made chandelier by Canada-based designer Omer Arbel. Hung from the Cupola, the highest point of the building, the installation spans the vast height of the Museum, cascading more than 30 metres through the centre of the Ceramics Galleries, past the coffered ceiling beneath and finally appearing above the main doorway as visitors enter the museum.
The Dinner Party: design objects are frequently displayed on pedestals or in glass vitrines but rarely in something resembling the everyday living environment for which they were conceived. The Norfolk House Music Room in the British Galleries provides a theatrical backdrop for Scholten & Baijings’ ‘Dinner Party’, where visitors are invited to interrupt a dinner party in session. This seemingly lived-in but recently deserted stage set creates a more natural and adventurous way of viewing designed objects, particularly glassware, ceramics, polished steel, textile, furniture and carpets.
Amongst the installationa at V&A we suggest The Wind Portal (Staircase N, end of Gallery 114e), a dramatic gateway of 5,000 paper windmills turning in the breeze. Created by Lebanese designer, Najla El Zein, this walk- through installation creates a playful airway, drawing wind and light into the galleries beyond.
The Progressive Extension of the Field of Individual Development and Experience. This impactful project comprises a natural a cork floor occupying the existing bridge over the V&A’s Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, in which the visitor is immersed in a world of cork, encountering its visual and tactile properties in a bold effort to challenge existing connotations with the material. The project is a collaboration between FAT Architecture, the London-based practice renowned for its conceptual approach to architecture, and Amorim, the world’s largest producer of cork. The floor is made up of a series of tiles laid in a repeating trompe l’oeil geometric pattern, which is based on a scientific diagram of the cellular structure of cork as a material.
Universal Everything & You have been commissioned by the Science Museum to create this evolving audio-visual installation exploring drawing, gesture and movement in the digital realm on display in Media Space, the new photography and art gallery in the Science Museum, opening on 21st September 2013. A work in two parts, Universal Everything & You is a collaboration with Benjamin Millipied’s LA Dance Project and the public, who are invited to participate through a smart phone app.
Photo: London Design Festival – www.londondesignfestival.com