Vera, Chapter One by KM and ÉM

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Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Eleven designers including Tomás Alonso, Philippe Malouin and Study O Portable took the fictional character of a lady called Vera as their muse and presented the results in a west London basement during the London Design Festival.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Veralyn Fragrance by Emmanuel Philip

Called Vera, Chapter One, the project was curated by Kirsty Minns and Érika Muller (KM and ÉM) and asked each participant to respond to one photograph of Vera, taken from a set discovered at a junk shop in the seaside town of Brighton.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

The eclectic presentation included shoes with Corian heels, bottles of scent inspired by a visit to the sea and wallpaper depicting Vera's dreams.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Conch Shells by Loris & Livia

See all our stories about the London Design Festival here.

Photography is by Benedict Morgan.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Play It Louder by Study O Portable

Here are some more details from KM and ÉM:


Vera, Chapter One is a multi-disciplinary exhibition orchestrated by KM and ÉM as the first part of an on-going project evolving around a fictional character.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Play It Louder by Study O Portable

The first chapter has been exclusively launched during the London Design Festival in September 2011.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Exploring a literacy approach to design, this exhibition showcases an eclectic body of work, including product design, illustration, graphics and olfactive design, by some emerging international talent.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Collection C by Eelko Moorer

Vera is a fictional character based on a series of photographs from a girl’s family found a few years ago in a second hand shop in Brighton.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

A group of artists & designers have been commissioned to respond to one image from the series in order to create the first chapter of Vera’s fictive and collaborative biography.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: 1:4 by Philippe Malouin

Vera’s material and sensorial world is brought into reality through this speculative body of work.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

The exhibition room becomes her intimate space into which the visitor is invited to discover an original series of suppositional artefacts.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Vera's Dream by Arlette Ess

The works featured in this publication are the different responses from the commissioned artists and designers to a brief they were given in July 2010.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

This brief is presented below to give you a deeper understanding of the thinking and working process behind this project.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Strap Lamp by Camille Blin

‘There are thirty one photos of Vera in total, ten of them will be released for this first chapter. You are offered to choose one picture from the series to work from.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

This image is the beginning of your narration. The work you will produce is a direct continuity of this photo and it will be one of the stories contributing to Vera’s fictional and collaborative biography.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Vera's Vase by José Levy

You are free to respond to this image as you wish. Your answer might be realistic or fantasied, dramatic or comical, profound or superficial, emotional or practical – the tone is yours.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Your story can be rooted in the photo’s temporality but could also be anticipating or succeeding it.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Secret Alphabet by Roma Levin

You can pick any detail from the image to build your own story – a character, a printed pattern, an object, a colour range, or any element which seems relevant to you.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

What we think should be vital in the approach of your work is to keep Vera at the heart of the narration.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Her Scarf by Malika Favre

We might sound mystical when saying this, but we believe that the work should almost be incarnating Vera rather than interpreting her.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Aintree by Tomás Alonso

That it isn’t about telling what we think about her rather than making her come true.

Vera, Chapter One by KM and EM

Above: Aintree by Tomás Alonso

We wish you the best for this adventure. We hope that Vera will inspire you. She is now your muse.’ KM & ÉM

  • https://www.facebook.com/Fefy12 Federica Cernuto

    This is unbelievably smart! whish I saw it.

  • elizabeth

    what a great concept! love seeing all the designers' ideas that come from this 'ficticous' person, yet love that there's a real woman out there whose the protagonist of these photos. smart.

  • douglas m.

    My favourites are the lamp by Camille Blin, and the fragrance by Emmanuel Philip.

    But, this is incredibly intrusive.

    People are acting like this person is imaginary though professing to acknowledge her existence. She's not ficticous, she's real, and her 'characteristics' are projections probably informed by stereotypes – how could the designers possibly know what made this person tick? Do they really care?

    Disrespectful.