London Design Festival 2015: London designer Kim Thomé’s Zotem installation features patterns of faceted crystals that seem to rise up 18 metres by means of the V&ampA museum’s grand entrance (+ film).

Thomé was commissioned by crystal brand Swarovski to create the installation, which is named Zotem as a blend of the words zoetrope and totem.


A zoetrope is a 19th-century animation gadget, which produces the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of isolated drawings that appear to move as they flick past the eye in swift succession.

Thomé has adapted this idea for Zotem, with illuminated coloured stripes that pass behind steel sheets punctured by in excess of 600 crystals.


The big faceted glass pieces – in shapes which includes triangles, circles and rectangles – are arranged in patterns up the full height of the double-sided framework.

Related story: Dezeen’s best ten installations and exhibitions at London Design and style Festival 2015

The shapes produce a prismatic result as the colours pass beneath in a continuous loop.


“An illuminated colour pattern runs behind the crystals at a set pace and distance and is distorted in a different way in the several types of lower crystals,” mentioned the Norway-born designer. “This distortion looks like movement in the crystals travelling upwards in the structure.”

The patinated black steel sheets are mounted onto an aluminium structure to keep the design and style as lightweight as possible.


Although the metal sheets form the front and back, the sides are purposefully left exposed to demonstrate how the visual effect is developed.

“We left the sides open to reveal the inner workings of the impact,” Thomé stated. “This way guests can figure out how it all functions which was an important function for me when I made it.”


Stood in the centre of the Grand Entrance, Zotem is made to draw visitors’ eyes up in the direction of the ornately decorated ceiling of the Victorian building.

The tower rises all the way up to the museum’s modern ceramics gallery on degree 6, in which the set up can also be viewed.


“The notion is really based mostly on how the crystals interact with their surrounding,” Thomé informed Dezeen. “As an alternative of the crystals being clustered in a chandelier I have isolated them so you can truly knowledge what is happening in the crystals aspects.”

“The grand entrance is a quite transient area but has an extraordinary interior if you look up,” he additional.


The designer, who graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 2012, visited Swarovski’s lately extended Kristallwelten headquarters and theme park in Austria throughout the layout procedure.

The commission extends his operate with colour and reflection – he has previously used two-way mirrors to reflect vinyl stripes covering the walls of a London gallery and develop optical illusions on a variety of furniture pieces.

“My go to to Swarovski’s Kristallwelten gave me the confidence to perform with scale, and the creative and technical collaboration with their engineers permitted me to generate these remarkable crystals specially for this task,” stated Thomeé in a statement. “I really like the way it seems to be digital, but is really a giant visual illusion.”


Zotem is installed for this year’s London Design Festival, which will take spot from 19 to 27 September 2015, and will remain in location till 31 October 2015.

As one particular of the hubs for the festival, the V&ampA is hosting a selection of installations that consist of a series of adaptable mirrored platforms in its central atrium and a tower of small ceramic retailers inside the Medieval and Renaissance sculpture gallery.

Photography is by Mark Cocksedge.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here