V&A Commission

Visitors were greeted by the 28.280 custom-made chandelier by Canada-based designer Omer Arbel. Hung from the cupola, the highest point of the building, the installation spanned the vast height of the museum.

The installation cascaded more than 30 metres through the centre of the ceramics galleries, past the coffered ceiling beneath and finally appeared above the main doorway as visitors enter the museum.

The installation was made up of 280 individual 28 Series glass pendant lamps that were each suspended from the cupola – the highest point of the museum. Every pendant was handmade at design brand Bocci’s glass factory in Canada using a fabrication process developed by Arbel.

He explained, “28 Series is an exploration of a fabrication process which is part of our quest for specificity. Instead of designing form itself, here the intent was to design a system that haphazardly yields form, almost as a byproduct. 28 pendants result from a complex glass blowing technique whereby air pressure is intermittently introduced into and then removed from a glass matrix which is intermittently heated and then rapidly cooled. The result is a distorted spherical shape with a composed collection of inner shapes, one of which is made of opaque milk glass and houses a light source.”

The main entrance was not the only place to enjoy views of the installation. Visitors could venture to The McAulay Gallery (Room 141, Contemporary Ceramics) on the 6th level for an entirely different vista through the centre of the chandelier. Within this cavernous domed space, they experienced the full impact of the installation as it descends from its fixing point in the cupola, through a void in the dome into the McAulay Gallery and down into the main entrance foyer. The visual spectacle was that of a torrent of water dropping through the museum, each one a unique form and radiating a different colour.

Supported by Bocci

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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