Bocci 28.280
at the V&A

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London Design Festival 2013: Canadian lighting brand Bocci has installed a giant chandelier of colourful glass spheres in the main hall of the V&A museum for the London Design Festival, which kicks off on Saturday (+ slideshow).

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

Bocci has suspended 280 of its 28 series of hand-blown glass lights on spindly copper wires to create a chandelier designed by Omer Arbel.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

"To finally build a piece in a very tall space, and at the V&A no less, really excites us," said Arbel. "We’ve envisioned the most ambitious iteration of our 28 to date."

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

The chandelier descends 30 metres from the ceiling of the first floor gallery and through a hole in the floor to emerge into the museum's main atrium.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

Glass lights are scattered down the column of copper wires that falls straight at the top of the piece, then splays outward haphazardly in the foyer.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

During last year's London Design Festival, the V&A museum hosted one installation that visualised data streams from all over the city and another where drops of coloured ink fell from the top of a stone staircase into a glass tank six storeys below.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

Bocci's 28 lights have also been used to create chandeliers for Spazio Rosanna Orlandi in Milan and a small cafe in Vancouver.

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Photography is by Nick Barr of Dan Tobin Smith.

More information from Bocci below:


Bocci 28.280

A surreal light installation by Bocci created as part of the London Design Festival exhibits at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

During this year's London Design Festival eleventh edition, the Canadian design brand Bocci will present a lighting installation at the festival's hub venue, the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

Entitled 28.280 and designed by Omer Arbel, the installation is a massive vertically punctuated light installation located at the main atrium of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The installation, featuring Bocci's celebrated 28, will descend through the large existing void cutting through the entire length of the V&A building, with an astonishing height of more than 30 meters. The intent of the installation is twofold; On the one hand, it is a pure celebration of the monumental open height of the building, which uses light to crystallise a powerful phenomenological experience for the viewer. On the other hand, it is the most ambitious exploration to date of a novel glass blowing technique.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

28 is an exploration of a fabrication process - part of Arbel's and Bocci's 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 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.

Bocci 28.280 at the V&A

280 of these discreet 28 units will be hung within a 30 metre vertical drop, suspended by a novel, perhaps awkward and heavy copper suspension system, that promises to have as much presence or more than the glass it supports. The installation continues Omer's personal research into the process of making, and documents Arbel's remarkable journey as an articulator of form.

"We have always dreamed of mounting a light installation in a very very tall space... In the world of ideas, a tall space is the most appropriate environment for our pieces (abstractly speaking, I could say the ONLY environment for our pieces). Hence, to have the opportunity to finally build a piece in a very tall space, and at the V&A no less, really excites us on both a personal and professional level. We’ve envisioned the most ambitious iteration of our 28 to date." - Omer Arbel