Sebastian Noel: We got inspired, originally, by the logo itself because the logo has a lot of symmetry, it has a lot of parallels - beautiful logo from Alan Fletcher. Because the sign would have to be located in the tunnel, you would need to be able to see it from both sides. We noticed there was quite an interesting form of symmetry in the logo itself which enabled us to reverse it. That was the starting point of the sign we created – this kind of exploration of the symmetry of the logo itself because of specifically that, because it encompassed a very long stretch of history, but embraces modernity at the same time …
We love the V&A because of specifically that, because it encompasses a very long stretch of history but embraces modernity at the same time. That's why we've tried to create ... we borrowed very old elements like brasswork, like etching, various techniques that are used to materialise the sign, to materialise the idea. There is clockwork, a lot of gears ... something that reminds you of the past really and combined with that you have very strong, modern elements like a huge acrylic tube and a very cold colour like we used a very strong electric blue for the letters themselves, a gloss finish, things like that.
We are thinking in the studio, we don't quite know what we've created. There's something, but we don't know if it's a sign or if it's an object or if it's an installation, it definitely feels in between and for that I think it's quite successful and we're very pleased with it.
I hope the piece explains something … I think as a designer or as an artist you are very sensitive to shape and form. Of course, you see the parallel very clearly and I hope the machine makes it clear for everybody.
SPECIAL EVENT: To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the V&A will present a programme of free screenings of Shakespeare productions, documenting some of the best British productions of the last 20 years.