Liquid Marble




Mon - Sun 10am - 5.45pm, Friday 10am - 10pm


V&A Commission

French multi-disciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur invited viewers to enter into a meditative state with his work Liquid Marble, a large piece of black marble sculpted into a realistic, yet static, representation of the ocean’s movement. 

“I’m always trying to understand how the human brain works, and how to put people in a very specific state of mind,” says Lehanneur. “The piece doesn’t move, but the reflection of light on the polished marble makes it feel like a real sea. The idea is to bring a piece of the water to a place where there is none, to create a contemplative experience.”

The complexities of the ocean’s movement were captured using sophisticated 3D software developed for the film industry. A single block of marble was then machined to replicate the files and hand polished to create a reflective surface.

This is the third installation of Lehanneur’s Liquid Marble series, and the jet-black piece was designed specifically for the Norfolk House Music Room, which was displayed during the Festival in the V&A’s British Galleries, Room 52. “The space is very ornate and full of colour, so I wanted to contrast it with something absolutely minimalistic,” says Lehanneur. “The original musical function of the room was also a big inspiration to me. The idea of music in the room, and the musical references in its decoration, add a special dimension to this vibratory movement relief, fixed in marble. I also like the contrast between the deep silence of Liquid Marble and the history of the Norfolk House Music Room, which hosted the most beautiful symphonies.”


Mathieu Lehanneur Profile

Mathieu Lehanneur, one of the top designers and influencers by magazines Wallpaper (UK) and Surface (US), is a French designer who is at the forefront of the international design scene. He is also one of the few in his generation to use his talents in a variety of areas, beyond furniture. 

Innovatively, he combines design, science, technology and art to create humanistic projects to achieve maximum welfare for human beings. Graduating from ENSCI-Les Ateliers / l’École nationale supérieure de création industrielle, Paris, his works are in the permanent collections of the MoMa (both New York and San Francisco/US), Centre Pompidou (Paris/FR) and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris/FR). 

In 2008, American magazine Popular Science’s “Best Invention Award” was awarded to Andrea, Lehanneur’s indoor air purifier, created in partnership with Harvard University and based on studies developed by NASA.

Mathieu Lehanneur collaborates with world leading brands such as Nike, Veuve Clicquot, Audemars Piguet, Hôtels Pullman, and Schneider Electric. With the same proficiency, Lehanneur creates spectacular projects for Saint Hilaire Church, UNESCO’s world heritage (Melle/FR) and works in partnership either with start-ups from different fields or important players such as Huawei, with whom he collaborates as chief designer. Lehanneur also works in limited editions or unique pieces, for the Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Paris, London and New York). 

Mathieu Lehanneur was invited to lecture at TED Conference Global programme in 2009 and, in 2012, to have his book published by the German publishing house Gestalten and to have an exhibition dedicated to his work at the Le Grand Hornu Design Center, Belgium.

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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