This weekend was the last couple of days of the London Design Festival. I was aware of it, simply because I walk through UAL Chelsea College of Arts on my way to work. I made the effort to actually experience the installation and to take some pictures…surprisingly it was less busy that I thought it would be for a sunny Saturday in September. More information about The Smile can be found here http://www.thetulipwoodsmile.info But suffice to say, I was suitably impressed. I like its simplicity in the form and the materials used. I aslo decided to take some pictures of the grounds where The Smile is situated and managed to come across the the stones and leaves, small signals of autumn.
From UAL Chelsea, with a festival guide in hand I decided to go to the V&A Museum to see some key works from the festival. My favourite of 4 was the foil designed by Benjamin Hubert in collaboration with Braun – http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/FOIL . I was moved by the light reflected from the stainless steel panels onto the centuries old tapestries… it was a very calming room to be in even with visitors coming in and out. Maybe it had to do with the dark lighting in the room generally.
Next favourite was Liquid Marble by Mathieu Lehanneur – “a large piece of black marble sculpted into a realistic, yet static, representation of the ocean’s movement.” And it definitely has the feel of the ocean when you see it – http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/liquid-marble
Next was the The Green Room, by design studio Glithero, which I found visually very interesting but was also slightly confused by it all. “Taking full advantage of the stairwell’s 17.5 metre drop, the silicone cords are looped over a 3.2 metre-diameter ring that’s clearly visible for all to see within the stairwell’s dome. Each cord is connected to a central rotating cam arm that turns at a rate of one revolution per minute. One by one the strings are lifted, slowly rising 2.5 metres from their starting point before returning back down again, creating the effect of parabolic motion. The result is an immersive wave of colour that is first encountered at ground level, just a little over head height” – http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/green-room
Finally, Beloved which to me sounded better than it actually was… but maybe I’m being overly critical. “Istanbul-based architecture firm Tabanlıoğlu Architects have brought Sabahattin Ali’s classic 1943 novel Madonna in a Fur Coat to life on the bridge over the V&A’s Medieval & Renaissance galleries.” – http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/beloved-reading-room
I guess I was expecting something a little different…..But it did lead to a selfie of some sort. Some of the installations at the V&A are around for a little longer, so catch them while you still can.