Milan 2012: more about Hackney designers in Milan last week - this tangle of bent rods and random objects is actually a doorbell by Dutch Shoreditch-based designer Tord Boontje that was shown at the Ventura Lambrate design district.
When visitors push the doorbell button the whole structure starts to tip first one way then the other, causing a hammer on wheels to career round the track and bash into any objects the owner chooses along the way.
The Cacophony Bell was developed with kinetic objects company Laikingland - see more of their contraptions here, including an applause machine and a mechanical hand that continuously drums its fingers.
The Ventura Lambrate design district was open from 17 to 22 April.
Back in London, Boontje is currently professor and head of design products at the Royal College of Art in London, and recently opened his new shop and studio on Charlotte Road in Shoreditch.
Here's some more information from Laikingland:
Laikingland presents “With Movement” at Ventura Lambrate 2012
Laikingland is a creative label whose fundamental theme is movement. Each year, kinetic objects are developed collaboratively with invited artists and designers. The exhibition “With Movement” acknowledges both the objects and the collaborative process developed with each artist and designer.
Cacophony Bell by Tord Boontje with Laikingland
“Through the gap in the shutters, I can see him coming up the path, he is past the gate already. Quick, can I hide? Why, would I? Should I not be glad that he is coming? What if…
Too late, I can see his hand reaching out for the buzzer, I know I have only a few seconds left. The finger presses the button, the wireless connection is made, I look up at the ceiling.
The hammer on wheels is released, with hesitation it starts to move along the fine metal wire track. It picks up speed and rushes down the first steep slope of the track, it crashes into a steel watering can, BANG. Without slowing down the hammer keeps moving towards a glass bottle, the sound of impact is a glassy PING. Onwards through the steep corners towards the dried leaves, the doll, the tin can, CRUSH THUMP TING and finally heading towards the bell, where it ends with a loud CLANG.
Although, it does not quite end there The weight of the hammer now tips the balance of the precariously hung track and the whole thing starts to tilt over. Slowly the hammer on wheels starts to move again, exploring new forces of gravity. Giving in to a new sliding motion as the track changes shape again and the hammer reaches it’s starting point again where it comes to rest.
The noise, the cacophony, is still echoing through the house, while I wait for him to press the buzzer again.” - Tord Boontje,
Laikingland is a creative label, based in both the UK and The Netherlands, who design and manufacture beautifully crafted kinetic objects that engage, and evoke a sense of play and nostalgia.
The company was founded in 2008 and is built upon a life long friendship between artist, Martin Smith and engineer, Nick Regan. Since it’s inception Laikingland has specialised in producing highly crafted limited editions, working closely with invited artists and designers to realise their kinetic ideas.
Alongside the products developed and manufactured by Laikingland, projects to create one-off, special edition and exclusive kinetic objects, spaces and commissions are also undertaken.
All our work is produced in small batches or limited editions and is hand assembled in the North of England by our team of highly skilled craftsmen, artisans and jewellers.
Martin Smith is the Art Director of Laikingland. He lives and works in West Yorkshire, UK. He has 17 years experience as a practicing Artist, with work ranging from small kinetic devices to large-scale gallery commissions and architectural interventions.
In his role as Art Director, Martin has overall responsibility for the design selection process, he curates the product range and collaborates at the concept stage with each artist and designer. Through his vast experience of surprising yet elegant mechanisms, he influences both the movement of the kinetic objects and the direction of the Laikingland brand.
Nick Regan is the Engineering Director of Laikingland. He was born and raised in West Yorkshire, UK, but now lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He has 16 years product development and engineering management experience in the global automotive industry. He has worked with many of the world’s leading automotive companies in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.
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Designed in Hackney is a Dezeen initiative to showcase world-class architecture and design created in the borough, which is one of the five host boroughs for the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as being home to Dezeen’s offices. We’ll publish buildings, interiors and objects that have been designed in Hackney each day until the games this summer.
More information and details of how to get involved can be found at www.designedinhackney.com.