London Design Festival Preview – V&A

What to look out for at the V&A including Design Week-hosted talks with Morag Myerscough, Tony Brook, Craig Oldham and Johanna Basford.

V&A_OghamWall_GraftonArchitects&Graphic Relief_Credit_Peter Rowen_2
The Ogham Wall

Some ambitious installations will be unveiled at London Design Festival hub the Victoria & Albert Museum at the end of the month, including monolithic slabs inspired by an ancient language and moving insects trapped inside mouth blown lightbulbs.

The Ogham Wall by Grafton Architects and Graphic Relief


Within the Tapestries Gallery Grafton Architects and Graphic Relief have collaborated on The Ogham Wall, based on the Irish Ogham alphabet, which dates from the 4th century.

There will be 23 slabs honed from rough concrete and embellished with metallic detailing. The surface of most slabs has been polished smooth but some have been given a deliberately imperfect surface.

Ogham letters traditionally reference the name of a species of tree and Grafton Architects have worked with graphic relief to create textured tree bark surfaces.

The installation is described by Grafton as “man-made geology that is beautiful to touch and to look at.”

You can hear Grafton Architects’ Shelley McNamara speak about the making of The Ogham Wall on 24 September at 1.15pm in the Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre.

The project is a joint collaboration between London Design Festival and Irish Design 2015.

Curiosity Cloud by Mischer’Traxler


The Curiosity Cloud is composed of 250 mouth-blown glass globes each containing a hand-fabricated insect.

As visitors approach the installation they will begin to view 25 insect species, which are either extinct, common, or newly discovered.

At first just a few appear to move, but soon more can be seen and heard emitting noises as they collide with the glass.

The installation can be found within a darkened Norfolk House Music Room between 19-27 September.

Graphics Weekend with Design Week and Creative Review

Morag Myerscough
Morag Myerscough

Drop-in workshops and demonstrations are planned on 19-20 September, including lettering workshop with Paul Antonio Scribe, and an interactive Type Tasting event.

Keynote talks come from the likes of Tom Sharp and Ben Haworth, co-founders and creative directors of The Beautiful Meme, Tony Brook, co-founder of design studio Spin, Adrian Shaughnessy, designer Craig Oldham and illustrator Johanna Basford in a Q&A session with Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne.

For more info head here.

Zotem by Kim Thome

Zotem Render

You won’t be able to miss the 18m tall double-sided black aluminium totem pitted with 600 Swarovski crystals designed by Norwegian designer Kim Thomé.

It is located just inside the Grand Entrance and rises up to the Contemporary Ceramics gallery on the sixth floor.

The idea is that visitors’ eyes will be drawn upwards and the installation will help them make a link between the two spaces.

As light is refracted through the crystals, scaled up to 2.5 times their normal size, “an entrancing visual illusion” is promised.

The title of the piece is a conflation of the words totem and zoetrope.

Mise-En-Abyme by Laetitia de Allegri & Matteo Fogale

'Mise-en-abyme' by Matteo Fogale and Laetitia De Allegri Supported by Johnson Tiles, image courtesy of the London Design Festival

The bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance galleries will be taken over by an illusory installation based on the one point perspective which was understood in the Renaissance period.

Overlapping semi-transparent tile shapes have been arranged to mess with the viewer’s perspective and create a sense of exaggerated depth so that the bridge appears to open outward or close inwards depending on the viewer’s point of view.

Semi-transparent, vertical acrylic panels are a three-dimensional interpretation of perspective.

Robin Day: Works in Wood, curated by Jane Withers and designed by Assemble


Furniture designer Robin Day was best known for his work in man-made materials. This exhibit is a chance to examine his love of timber and what he could do with it.

Some of the objects on display are never-before-seen personal projects.

Here Jane Withers tells us what to expect.

19 September – 4 October Britain 1500-1760 gallery, Level 4.

Also look out for:

V&A_The Cloakroom,FayeToogood_Visual_HighRes

The Cloakroom by Faye Toogood will encourage you to borrow a coat designed in Kvadrat’s Highfield material and using a self-contained map as a guide navigate your way to find 10 other garments displayed around the V&A.

'The Tower of Babel' by Barnaby Barford

Barnaby Barford’s The Tower of Babel, a towering sculpture comprised of 3000 bone china shops, showing the face of our high-streets.

Architecture Now: V&A Museum of Dundee. Using film, visualisations and a scale model visitors will be able to see what the V&A Dundee will offer when it opens in 2018. You can read our interview with V&A Dundee director Philip Long here.

The London Design Festival Shop is new for this year and will be selling curated products and festival merchandise.

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