Curiosity Cloud

Sep

19-27

2015

Mon-Sun 10am-5.45pm

Free Event

http://vam.ac.uk

V&A Commission

Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, renowned Austrian design duo mischer’traxler collaborated with boutique champagne house Perrier-Jouët to bring a sensual, interactive installation to the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room.

The project was part of an ongoing collaboration, ‘Small Discoveries’, which celebrates moments in nature and how people interact with the natural world. Curiosity Cloud, the special project developed for London Design Festival, took its cues from Perrier-Jouët’s connection to the Art Nouveau movement and the traditional use of insect motifs throughout this period.

“We are excited to continue our explorations of nature with Perrier-Jouët,” say the designers. “Curiosity Cloud is about celebrating a moment in nature and the relationship that humans have with the entomological world.”

The installation comprised 250 mouth-blown glass globes made by the Viennese glass company Lobmeyr. Each globe contained a single hand-fabricated insect and each insect was printed on to foil, which was laser cut and then hand embroidered to create the body. Capturing the full range of human engagement with this natural order, 25 insect species were represented, falling into three categories: extinct, common, and newly discovered.

From a distance, the insects were quiet and calm. A scattered few across the installation moved, their vessels emitting a soft, glowing light. As visitors entered the darkened room and approached the installation, the insects came to life – moving more rapidly and emitting trilling noises as they collided with the glass in which they were encapsulated.

“We created a calm, yet alluring atmosphere, where people could engage with the installation and each other,” said the designers. “It was a playful experience, but also a thoughtful project pointing at mankind's relationship to nature. We wanted people to be surprised and delighted.”

The contemporary interpretation of the Art Nouveau movement perfectly captured the spirit of Perrier-Jouët. The anemone motif found on the Houses Belle Epoque bottles is by Emile Gallé, one of the most famous artists of the period. The champagne house also has an impressive collection of original Art Nouveau furniture on display at its Maison in the Champagne region of France. Following the Festival, Curiosity Cloud was relocated to Champagne, to be displayed alongside these classic pieces creating a dialogue between different time periods. 

Click here to read our interview with Katharina and Thomas

About mischer’traxler

Katharina Mischer (1982) and Thomas Traxler (1981) form mischer‘traxler studio. Balancing between handcraft and technology, they design objects, furniture, production processes, kinetic or interactive installations and more, thereby focusing on experiments and conceptual thinking within a given context. After graduating from the IM-masters department at the Design Academy Eindhoven and several years of collaboration, Katharina and Thomas founded mischer'traxler studio in Vienna in 2009. Their works have been displayed in numerous museums and at international festivals and fairs. Projects by mischer'traxler are to be found in the permanent collections of the Art institute Chicago, the Vitra Design Museum and the MAK Vienna. Their projects have won several awards while as a studio, mischer'traxler was also honoured with the 'W-hotels designer of the future award' by Design Miami/Basel and W-hotels in 2011 and recently with the 'Young talent award' by the Be-open foundation.

London Design Festival

Over nine days in September, the London Design Festival feature hundreds of events taking place across London, showcasing the city's pivotal role in global design. The London Design Festival 2017 will be held 16-24 September, featuring over 500 Partners, Landmark Projects, and V&A Commissions.

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