London Design Festival at the V&A
The London Design Festival is the UK’s premier Festival of contemporary design, and one of the world’s most important annual design events. The London Design Festival 2012 took place at the V&A and across London, from 14 – 23 September.
The London Design Festival 2012 marked the 10th anniversary of the Festival, and the 4th year of the Festival at the V&A. We celebrated this collaboration with over 70 events across the Festival period, 12 specially-commissioned displays and installations, and a range of other exhibitions and displays across the Museum.
Over 111,500 people attended the London Design Festival 2012 at the V&A, making this the biggest year ever!
Highlights from London Design Festival 2012
Prism, by Keiichi Matsuda
Prism presented an alternative view of London, exposing intangible data flows in the capital. It is a lens into a second city, one that is made from infrastructural data feeds and exchanges.
Prism drew from a multitude of live data sources, including transport updates, traffic webcams and environmental data, and presented them in real time as a living patchwork of systems and processes. As machine languages and processes start to permeate the city, we must re-examine our urban landscape as a new and unexplored terrain. The installation was an investigation into the virtual life of the city, and our own often ambiguous relationship with the data that controls our lives.
Commissioned by Veuve Clicquot
Mimicry Chairs by Nendo
Nendo’s Mimicry Chairs comprised a series of elegant chair installations appearing in varying locations throughout the Museum. Japanese design studio Nendo created a simple chair archetype made from pressed and punched metal painted white giving it an almost ghost-like appearance. These chairs were placed within the Grand Entrance and further locations throughout the Museum including galleries, staircases and corridors. At each site, the chair was modified to mimic the space it inhabited and the objects around it.
Designing for the Future: V&A at Dundee
V&A at Dundee will be an international centre of design for Scotland, housed in a remarkable building by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and situated at the heart of Dundee's developing waterfront.
Alongside proposals and models for this exciting new museum, recent graduates from Scotland’s four renowned art schools, presented work which showed how inspired design can be life-enhancing and enable social change.
Ice Angel by Dominic Harris and Cinimod Studio
Ice Angel is an interactive artwork that gives each participant a glimpse of him or herself in angelic form. The work is inspired by the way children create snow angels in fresh snow. It responds to the user’s arm movements to create a unique pair of digital angel wings. The wings are created dynamically and are linked to the physical proportions of the individual participant. The artwork also has a ‘memory’: if a user returns after a day, a month or a year, the device will remember them and recreate their own unique angel wings for them again.
Ice Angel is experienced through the participation of the viewer who adopts the role of a performer. Through this curious role reversal the viewer becomes the subject of a living portrait, with their hidden ‘angel’ revealed for all to see.
Bench Years, Infinity Bench by Martino Gamper
The London Design Festival collaborated with the British furniture and lighting producer Established & Sons to create a series of one-off benches, each made from a different material. Leading designers including Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Barber Osgerby, AL_A and Luca Nichetto worked with individual material suppliers to design a bench that exploited and accentuated the material's inherent attributes. The resulting family of benches were exhibited collectively within the environs of the Museum’s John Madejski Garden.
Juliana Sissons, Knitwear Design
Juliana Sisssons was V&A Fashion Design Resident between July – December 2010. Sissons developed a fascination with historic armour and its links with contemporary fashion, developing knitwear directly influenced by the V&A's collection. This display presented pieces from that knitwear collection alongside the armour that captivated Sisson’s during her residency.
The Journey of a Drop by Rolf Sachs
Rolf Sachs created a stunning site specific installation for the V&A’s magnificent Henry Cole Staircase, treating spectators to a performance of choreographed ink drops. Journeying through the staircase’s great height, the drops fell to create organic 'colour clouds' – explosions of delicate and unique beauty – at the end of their descent.
Although eco design feels like today’s revolution it actually has some interesting precedents. As design filters into every aspect of our life we were invited to take a look back to the Great Exhibition that charged design with momentum and British spirit propelling design to what it is today. Transportation, Fashion, Graphic Design, Architecture, Product Design and much more was charted chronologically on a mural along the Lunchroom wall of the Sackler Centre.
Although most installations were only displayed during the Festival period, we are delighted that two will remain for an extended period of time in the Museum:
- Ice Angel, Room 57, until January 2013
- Evolutionary Wall, Lunch Room 1, Sackler Centre, until September 2013
The 11th London Design Festival will be celebrated at the V&A, 14-22 September 2013.
For more information on the London Design Festival, visit: www.londondesignfestival.com