london design festival: glithero's curtain of color makes waves at the V&A london design festival: glithero's curtain of color makes waves at the V&A
sep 17, 2016

london design festival: glithero's curtain of color makes waves at the V&A

 

london design festival: glithero is a london based design studio made up of tim simpson and sarah van gameren. this year, the duo have collaborated with luxury watchmaker panerai to present ‘the green room’ at the victoria and albert museum in london.

 

glithero’s body of work is one consistently concerned with time: when things begin, how they age, and when they cease to be. in the past, it brought a french coal mine back to life through the use of eerily illuminated geometric shapes and wire frames. in 2012, a commission by champagne brand perrier-jouët saw it craft a sculpture of hanging beads above a shallow body of water — to be altered or destroyed with every passing ripple.

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
the studio is made up of english designer tim simpson and dutch designer sarah van gameren
image by ed reeve

 

 

now, studio glithero give this theme a tangible presence in their vast new work at the victoria & albert museum as part of the london design festival. in ‘green room’, time takes the shape of 160 silicone cords, suspended in a cylindical curtain from the dome of a stairwell on the museum’s west side. the installation is theatrical in scale, descending six stories down a 17.5 meter drop. at its height, the piece is controlled by a 3.2 meter diameter ring, from which the individual cords are strung. within this ring, each rope is connected to a central rotating cam arm, turning at a rate of one revolution per minute. in revolving, the arm lifts each consecutive rope a height of 2.5 meters from its starting point before returning it to its original position.

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
the piece is comprised of 160 silicone cords, suspended from the dome of a stairwell on the museum’s west side
image by ed reeve

 

 

the resultant motion is one of expressive fluidity, a wave of movement and color that is both meditative and dynamic, and is a palpable force throughout the space. as spectators enter the main room, they encounter the end of the wave just above head height. as they progress higher up the stairwell, onlookers engage with different parts of the sculpture in various forms of flux. complimented by the classical style of the building, and framed by its ornate architecture, ‘green room’ is a kinetic response to the inevitable and infinite passage of time.

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
onlookers engage with different parts of the sculpture in various forms of flux
image by ed reeve

 

 

‘the green room’ is the name given by surfers to the experience of being caught in the barrel of  a wave, and is a fitting title for the immersive piece. the number of possible perspectives from which the piece can be viewed means spectators can experience glithero’s creation on varying frequencies of color, sound, shape and space.  

 

‘we wanted it to feel very much like you’re inside it and that it’s moving around you’, explains simpson. ‘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.’

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
‘the green room’ is the name given by surfers to the experience of being caught in the barrel of  a wave
image by ed reeve

 

 

‘it feels very in tune with the building. museums are all about our perceptions of time. the artifacts 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’.

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
the piece is framed by the classical architecture of the building
image © designboom

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
each rope is connected to a central rotating cam arm, turning at a rate of one revolution per minute
image © designboom

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
‘green room’ is a kinetic response to the inevitable and infinite passage of time
image by ed reeve

glithero-the-green-room-london-design-festival-v-and-a-museum-designboom-02
as spectators enter the main room, they encounter the end of the wave just above head height
image © designboom

 

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