The Green Room




V&A Commission

The Green Room was a monumental installation at the V&A. Conceived by London design studio Glithero in partnership with luxury watch maker Panerai, it changed visitors perceptions of what a clock can be.

The Green Room was a monumental installation at the V&A, conceived by London design studio Glithero in partnership with luxury watch maker Panerai, longstanding supporter of the London Design Festival. Taking the watchmaker’s central premise of ‘time’ as the inspiration, the designers created a kinetic piece that changed visitors perceptions of what a clock can be. “We wanted to create a time piece that people could be inside of,” said British designer Tim Simpson, founder of Studio Glithero alongside Dutch designer Sarah van Gameren. “This clock is an interactive experience rather than something you glance at.”

Renowned for their mesmerising, time-based mechanical installations, Glithero created a cylindrical curtain made up of 160 multicoloured silicone cords that wrapped around a six storey stairwell on the west side of the museum, a dramatic space that benefits from a tall classical domed ceiling and plentiful daylight thanks to its large windows. 

Taking full advantage of the stairwell’s 17.5 metre drop, the silicone cords were looped over a 3.2 metre-diameter ring that was clearly visible for all to see within the stairwell’s dome. Each cord was connected to a central rotating cam arm that turned at a rate of one revolution per minute. One by one the strings were lifted, slowly rising 2.5 metres from their starting point before returning back down again, creating the effect of parabolic motion. The result was an immersive wave of colour that could be first encountered at ground level, just a little over head height.

“We wanted it to feel very much like you’re inside it and that it’s moving around you,” explained Simpson of the awe inspiring experience of looking up into the cylindrical tunnel from ground level. “It leads you up the stairwell where there are a number of windows that let you glimpse it from different levels, then at the top you discover the mechanism. We wanted to make something that you encounter in one place but that is explained in another.”

Like much of Glithero’s work, the Green Room installation explored the theme of time, making the collaboration with Panerai all the more pertinent. “It feels very in tune with the building,” said Simpson of the all-encompassing work. “Museums are all about our perceptions of time. The artefacts speak of other time periods and transport you there or make those periods of time tangible. So thinking about the work as a time piece within the building seemed like a very logical idea.”

 Supported by Panerai


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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