The Victoria and Albert Museum has announced its programme of installations for September’s London Design Festival, with a focus on AR and climate change. Turner Prize-winning architectural practice Assemble, Korean sculptor Do Ho Suh and designers Studio Micat will all exhibit installations as part of the festival, which runs from 14 to 22 September.
Located in the V&A’s Tapestries Gallery, Assemble’s project is a presentation of ornate Mardi Gras Indian suits in collaboration with New Orleans-based artist and educator Big Chief Demond Melancon of the Young Seminole Hunters. The exhibition will explore the incredible craft behind these pieces, as well as their significance to indigenous people in America and the African diaspora. London-based Assemble recently developed new Louisiana school The Material Institute and invited Big Chief Demond to be a tutor.
Studio Micat has collaborated with There Project and Proud Studio to create Non-pavilion. The piece critiques the wastefulness of the temporary architecture usually a staple of design festivals and invites a number of studios to create AR alternatives. Leon Chew, Arne Hendricks, Leo Murray, Lucienne Roberts, Michael Schoener and Radical Norms have each developed pavilions, which can be explored virtually in the space. South Korean artist Do Ho Suh’s video work Robin Hood Gardens is similarly technology-focused, using drone footage, 3d-scanning and photogrammetry to explore the now-demolished east London housing estate.
These newly announced installations will join nine other planned LDF projects at the west London museum, including a landmark project by architectural practice Sam Jacob Studio. The large-scale spectacle created for the V&A’s entrance will take the form of a suspended mirrored cube and will be animated to evoke the vastness of the sea and the challenges we face on account of climate change.
On 21 and 22 September, the V&A will host its annual Digital Design Week, featuring opportunities to explore AR models of Leonardo da Vinci drawings, an interactive experience inspired by the Windrush, and the VR romance novel Queerskins. On the final day of the festival (22 September), Exhibition Road will be pedestrianised to host a day of climate change-related design events, talks and workshops, including a waste-free feast held by People’s Kitchen. Furniture for the event has been created by designers London-wide from the V&A’s packing crates in collaboration with Lewisham College and homelessness charity the 999 Club.
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