London Design Festival to bring robot octopus to Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is to play host to a giant ‘mechanical octopus’ as part of this year’s London Design Festival.

The Outrace installation, created by German/Swedish consultancy Kram/Weisshaar, will be in place throughout the festival, which runs from 18-26 September.

The installation uses six industrial robotic arms from the Audi production line, which will project light traces into the air. The public will be able to control the arms to draw and write texts in light – the resulting images will be captured by long-exposure cameras and displayed online.

Kram/Weisshaar’s Reed Kram, who describes the installation as ‘an immense mechanical octopus’, says, ‘We wanted to allow people to control these beasts.’

Additional projects for this year’s LDF include the Size & Matter installation, by Paul Cocksedge Studio. This installation, set for the South Bank, will comprise three distorted metallic discs, which Cocksedge likens to 3m-diameter 1p pieces which have been dropped from the sky.

The discs will be magnetised to attract copper coinage. Cocksedge says this will allow people to ‘decorate, donate to and change the sculpture’.

Stuart Haygarth, Max Lamb and writers’ group 26 will be creating installations for the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Neville Brody is plotting an Anti Design Festival, from a Shoreditch base.

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