A sneak preview of what’s in store at this year’s London Design Festival
The festival that aims to put London at the forefront of the design world has got some intriguing projects and displays set for its run in September.
For anyone who wants to know what’s next in the world of design, the London Design Festival is an exceptional – and occasionally bonkers – showcase of work by leading architects, designers, engineers and artists. Last year it ranged from a magnificent Escher-inspired endless staircase outside St. Paul’s cathedral to pieces drawn from the colours and shapes of Africa at Habitat.
Last Friday, H&A went to the V&A to get a sneak preview of the delights to expect for LDF 2014.
First up, the installation that had everyone at the preview talking was a ‘drone aviary’ in the museum’s central John Madeski Garden – a real example of old meets new.
Futuristic civilian drones, normally employed for surveillance, will take over the garden to give us a Big Brother-style view of the future – with a twist. Made in the Swarovski laboratories, the drones will all both look and move differently and will perform a constant aerial dance.
Above: An artist's impression of the 'Drone Aviary' by Superflux
Regular visitors to the V&A will know the huge Raphael gallery with its vast ceiling, mosaic floors and classic Raphael cartoons. LDF will be a brilliant time to see it because design duo Barber and Osgerby, fresh from their exhibition earlier this year at the Design Museum, have come up with an ambitious project to enhance the visitor’s experience of the gallery. Two huge mirrored structures suspended from the ceiling will move side-to-side in slow motion so you can, quite literally, reflect on the place you’re in.
Above: how Barber & Osgerby's addition to the Raphael Gallery, 'Double Space for BMW - Precision and Poetry in Motion', will look
We were most excited to hear about a display referencing a seminal V&A exhibition of 40 years ago, ‘The Destruction of the Country House’. The aim of the exhibition was to promote the preservation of Britain’s country houses – something close to H&A’s heart (look out for our September issue decorating feature which will put a twist on country house décor).
Half of the exhibit for the Design Festival 2014 will look back to the 1974 exhibition, while a new installation entitled 'Breathless Beauty - Broken Beauty' by artist Vanessa Jane Hall will use immersive video to recreate the atmosphere of country houses today.
Above: an artist's impression of a temple-like exhibit within this year's LDF display based on 'The Destruction of the Country House'