My favourite piece was Canada-based designer Omer Arbel’s 28.280 chandelier, which can be found at the entrance to the V&A. Made up of 280 handmade glass pendant lamps that are each suspended from the cupola, the effect is stunning. 28 Series pendants are the result of a complex glass-blowing technique whereby air pressure is intermittently blown into and then removed from a glass matrix that is heated and then rapidly cooled. Rather than envisaging a form, Arbel’s intent was to design a system that haphazardly yields form, almost as a by-product. The chandelier will be exhibited in the V&A until November – don’t miss it!
Also not to miss is Lebanese designer Najla El Zein’s “The Wind Portal”. This interactive sensory installation is a dramatic gateway of 5,000 paper windmills turning in the breeze. Visitors can pass through the hand-folded windmills as they move from the old part of the museum into the Day-lit Gallery, a new extension.
As well as the big events in the V&A and Tate, each district had loads going on. The Shoreditch Design Triangle incorporated more than 30 different participants; we managed to squeeze in a few. I especially enjoyed Tord Boontje’s “Magnetic Fields”. Alluding to a dark sci-fi atmosphere, Boontje has created numerous patterns through magnetism. While the exhibition showcases tables and chairs made from the resin-coated surfaces, the creator can also envisage extending this to bags or even shoes.
Also in Shoreditch was SCP, who presented The Special Relationship at their annual Design Department Store event. A celebration of new British and American design, SCP exhibited their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection of upholstery, furniture, textiles, rugs, lighting and accessories with designs from British and international designers.
At the Boxpark, Tusch Und Egon’s unit was getting a lot of attention. An anagram for the German “schoen und gut” – “beautiful and good”, the German team from Cologne have been selling an eclectic mix of products by international contemporary artists since 2012. Especially noticeable were these somewhat strange yet quirky figures. Not too sure what they’re made from, but they definitely leave an impression!
The week gave us a good insight into what’s going on in the world of design at the moment, and looking at designs that aren’t solely digital or web-based is always refreshing.