Highlights from the V and A: Searching for the perfect object.Posted: September 16, 2014
I find that some of the most interesting pieces the V and A has on display are the moderns works, which are located in rooms 74, 74a and 75. This is the collection that is the most changing, each time I visit there are new wonders.
This is A Set of Stacking Storage Boxes: Kubus-Geschirr (Cube Wear) which was first made by the Vereinigte Lausitzer Glaswerke around 1938. It was conceived by Wilhelm Wagenfeld, who was an important member of the Bahaus before his career as an industrial designer.
The curved edges of these industrial glass multipurpose containers add elegance to a simple kitchen staple. The way they fit and their stackability make them an innovation of their time, they preceded tupperware, which was not invented until 1946. Aside from their use they are also appealing to look at and would not be out of place in any kitchen. I think these are a design classic and something that will never go out of date.
Chest of Drawers: ‘You Can’t Lay Down Your Memories’ was conceived in 1991 by Tejo Remny and was included in Droog Design’s first collection in 1993. What is interesting about this is that it is one of Droog’s most successful products and has become a part of many museums collections; yet each is unique. The idea of the designer was to create a chest using found drawers with a new lease of life by giving them new wooden housing. The greater vision of this piece is to create a paradise from what we encounter, in a Robinson Crusoe manner.
Chair Bench by Gitta Gschwendtner is inspired by the chairs in the V and A ‘s furniture collection. The bench was created in 2012 after months of measuring and carving to create a piece that speaks for the collection. the chairs are almost submerged into the seat of the bench. The work gives choice, of where to sit through deciding which is to be our “favourite” chair. It creates conversation and discussion of taste. Her website is also packed with design gems, from unique lighting concepts to whimsical door stops (http://www.gittagschwendtner.com/object_frameset.html).
This piece is young, yet it holds a lot of history, which is overwhelming for fairly simple concept. Droog have a similar concept available, but I believe it speaks more of a divide between materials and sustainability and our comfort and needs as consumers as opposed to our heritage of furniture. The design is simpler, three chair backs to be fixed to a felled trunk (http://www.droog.com/webshop/furniture/tree-trunk-bench/).
These works are by Markku Salo, a Finnish artist specialising in glass but including mixed media materials such as metal, stone and wood. The piece on the left is a part of the artists animal collection in which the bottle like forms are blown into a metal frame to allow them an animal like pose. The second piece, Matka Troijaan (the journey to Troy), is a moveable glass vessel encased in a projective housing. These pieces stood out in the glass rooms, although they are not functional, yet they hint at the possibility. The colours and juxtaposition of the smooth glass and rough metals make them unique in comparison to the polished and gawdy collection kept at the V and A.
These four examples will also be considered as the perfect object.