London Design Festival 2018: top picks and highlights from the V&A
The Art of Music in the Digital Age
Known for her constant pursuit of digital innovation, the Anglo-American singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe has carved out a distinct niche between popular music and experimental technology. For LDF, she will exhibit a new selection of experimental projects, including a live ‘anti-stream’ from the quietest room on Earth, a ‘3D vinyl’ for your phone, and a jacket – designed by 1960s fashion label Mr Fish – with Wolfe’s music woven into its fabric.
The centrepiece of this year’s LDF exhibits at the V&A will be Waugh Thistleton’s playful stack of wooden boxes connected by a tangle of staircases and bridges (pictured above). Built in the museum’s new Sackler Courtyard from re-usable panels of American tulipwood, Multiply suggests modular systems and natural materials as a response to the global housing crisis. According to architect Andrew Waugh, it will give visitors access to previously unseen glimpses of the V&A building, and prove once and for all that ‘modular is far from boring’.
Memory & Light
Arvo Pärt – the most performed contemporary composer in the world – once compared his music to white light. That is the inspiration for this installation for the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room, a meditative collaboration between Pärt and engineering giant Arup. Curated by Clare Farrow with Eva Woode, the installation, a transparent curved screen designed to represent a prism dividing white light into many colours, will feature Pärt’s holy minimalist music, including the famed Für Alina.
As part of 14-18 NOW – the UK’s cultural programme for the centenary of the First World War – the V&A has given over one room to be ‘dazzled’ – painted in the black-and-white zig-zags of the experimental camouflage that was once intended to keep ships safe from German U-boats. A rare meeting of military necessity and avant-garde art, the zebra-like design was created by artist Norman Wilkinson and drew on movements such as Cubism and Vorticism. The renowned agency Pentagram will create the design.