Insects, rubber coats, glass passages and small shops. The London Design Festival is too good to miss

mise-en-abysme by Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri

Be prepared for a busy week. The London Design Festival is about to begin and there are many things to see and try. Head to the Victoria & Albert Museum, first of all. His long lasting collaboration with the London Design Festival makes it even more special. At the entrance you’ll find a totem - or better said a Zotem (from totem and zoetrope, an old animation device), embedded with more than 600 custom-made Swarovski crystals. Designed by the Norwegian designer Kim Thomé it’s an optical illusion, ‘A way to bring visitors eyes up to the amazing Contemporary Ceramics gallery on the sixth floor’, say Thomé.

London Design Festival
Looking for a new kind of coat for the winter? The British designer Faye Toogood has prepared something very special. In her The Cloakroom there is series of 150 coats, based on the Oil Rigger coat, made of a high-tech compressed-foam textile by Kvadrat. Visitors are invited to wear one of the coats, in which there is equipped with a sewn-in map, and go around the museum following the map to find the ten sculptural garments realized by Toogood and inspired by objects from the Museum’s collection.

Mise-en-Abyme is the name of an onyric and immersive installation which links the Medieval and the Renaissance Galleries. Designed by Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale they have played around the discovery of the one-point perspective during the Renaissance and have created a passage of overlapping semi-transparent acrylic panels, whose colours differs one another of only one degree but they look different depending on your point of view.

Curiosity Cloud

During the Art Nouveaux insects were a decorative motif represented in many ways. The Austrian duo mischer’traxler uses insects in a very peculiar way. They printed onto foil, laser cut and hand embroidered a great number of insects, falling into three different categories: extinct, common and recently discovered. Then they put them into 250 mouth-blown glass globes and displayed them in the Norwich Music Room. From a distance, the insects are quiet, but as soon as someone approach the globes they come to life and move inside their globe emitting a trilling noise as they collide withing their capsules. The fascinating project is called Curiosity Cloud and it’s part of the ongoing collaboration with Perrier-Jouët named ‘Small Discoveries’.

The Tower of Babel by Barbaby Balfor

My favourite installation, though, is The Tower of Babel by Barnaby Barford, a six metres tower made of 3000 little fine bone china sculptures, each one representing a real small shop in London. The tower is a representation of London today, with the derelict and poor pound stores at the bottom and the most sophisticated ones at the top. A reflection on consumerism and economy. Each one of the sculptures is for sale and can be collected at the end of the exhibition, on 1st of November.


designersFaye ToogoodLondon Design FestivalMatteo Fogalemischer'traxler
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