Dramatic installations at the The London Design Festival

18th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Celebrated international designers to create cutting edge sculptures for The London Design Festival outside the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Two of the world’s most highly regarded designers and architects – Marc Newson and Shigeru Ban – have been commissioned by the organisers of The London Design Festival to create installations for its annual 'Size + Matter' initiative at Southbank Centre in London. 

The Festival provides a platform for British creative talent and an opportunity to visit over 200 specific events and activities reflecting the diversity of world-class design talent in the capital of London.

The aims of the 'Size + Matter' project are to challenge the perception of the everyday materials used, by creating dramatic temporary installations outside the Royal Festival Hall, which will be on display from 19 September, the opening date of the Festival, until mid October.

In 2007, architects Amanda Levete and Zaha Hadid worked with Corian and pre-cast concrete respectively and in 2008 David Adjaye created a pavilion made using only American Tulipwood, both of which were on display at Southbank Centre. The result in each case was a striking structure of great impact all of which succeeded in blurring the boundaries of architecture, design, engineering and sculpture to produce a new work of public art.  This year’s installations are set to be equally eye-catching and innovative.

Shigeru Ban’s designMarc Newson is a world renowned industrial designer, whose creations range from sculptural works, furniture, objects, interiors and timepieces to products for the transport industry, including aviation and aerospace design.

For the London Design Festival Marc has created ‘Supercell’ – a steel structure that is both organic and mathematical.  Made of brightly coloured enamelled hexagonal steel panels, it takes the form of an exaggerated funnel, reminiscent of both marine and botanical forms. 

 Sponsored by ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel company, the dynamic structure will be seen not only at ground level but also from above, given that visitors can view the structure from the windows of the Royal Festival Hall, which overlook the space, looking down into its interior. Talking of what inspired him to create it, Newson comments:

“The starting point for this project was the underlying structure of biological growth. I used a conic section and a hexagonal grid to express biological forms in this installation.”

Shigeru Ban is an architect based in Tokyo and Paris.  He is best known for his disaster relief projects – in particular the cheap immediate housing made from paper and card which can be used in earthquake situations. For the London Design Festival he has designed a tower made from cardboard which will soar over the embankment walkway and be visible as a new addition to the South Bank skyline.

Made from cardboard tubes, the tower is articulated by metal joints, a system similar in design to the system used by Ban in his construction of a bridge, boathouse and various pavilions around the world. Sponsored by Sonoco, a global supplier of industrial and consumer packaging, the structure will be 22m high and once built, will become the tallest paper tower in the world.


London Design Festival/ Expatica 

Dates: 9 September to 27 September 2009. 

For more information visit the London Design Festival website  or you can download the festival guide from here.

The structures will remain in place after the Festival and throughout the Frieze Art Fair until 15 October when they will be auctioned by Philips de Pury & Co.

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