God is in the Details




V&A Commission

London Design Festival collaborated with Swarovski to set a group of influential designers a challenge on the theme of detail.

When the legenedary German architect Ludwig Miles van der Rohe coined the now famous phrase "God is in the details", he eocuraged his audience to live and work in a thorough manner and to take note of details, no matter how small they may be. 

Mies van der Rohe’s words are just as resonant today with designers all over the world working across all manner of disciplines. While detail matters, much of it we barely notice - even in the context of a museum where objects are intended to be observed at length and up close.

London Design Festival collaborated with Swarovski to set a group of influential designers a challenge on the theme of detail. Each designer selected an object from the V&A’s extensive collections, forming a multi-site exhibition within the V&A’s galleries. Positioned next to each chosen object is a viewing point constructed from Swarovski specialist lenses, which has been installed to magnify the highlights or curiosities within each piece’s design. The detail might be hidden; it may be in a combination of objects, an uncovered texture, or it may reveal or redefine a gallery view.

“Magnifying inspiring details is a simple yet extraordinary concept, because really looking at something means seeing it in an entirely different way. God Is in the Details invites us to look at some of the V&A’s greatest treasures as if for the first time, taking us on a fascinating and enlightening journey of discovery.” - Nadja Swarovski, Member of Swarovski’s Executive Board

The choices were incredibly personal; the designers themselves included practitioners from a number of different fields including jewellery, architecture and industrial design. Included in the group of designers were the likes of Paul Cocksedge, Tom Dixon, Amanda Levete, Faye Toogood, Stephen Webster and Osman Yousefzada who honed in and handpicked objects representing everything from the iconic to the obscure. The project invited visitors to embark on a more intense experience of the Museum’s collections; a ‘journey of detail’ to discover features that they may have otherwise overlooked.

London Design Festival at the V&A

The London Design Festival at the V&A

For 2017, the Festival will continue its unique collaboration with the world’s leading Museum of art, design and performance. As the central hub location for the London Design Festival for the eighth year, the V&A will again house a broad range of commissioned activity which will be spread throughout the Museum and include installations, events, talks and workshops.

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