An ornate room in London houses a surreal and beautiful experience. Austrian design duo mischer’traxler filled the V&A’s Norfolk House Music Room with hundreds of glowing mouth-blown glass globes, each containing an exquisitely handcrafted insect that moves and buzzes in response to surrounding movement. The alluring and playful installation, called Curiosity Cloud, was created in the Small Discoveries collaboration with boutique champagne house Perrier-Jouët and was inspired by the use of insect motifs in Art Nouveau.
Curiosity Cloud features 264 mouth-blown glass globes, made by Viennese glass company Lobmeyr, suspended from the ceiling at different heights. Each globe contains a ring of LEDs and a single handmade insect printed onto laser-cut foil and embroidered by hand to create a lifelike body. Over 25 insects are represented in the installation and include creatures that are extinct, commonly found, and newly discovered.
When viewed from a distance, the insects are mostly still and only a few globes emit light. Once visitors enter the darkened room, motion sensors trigger the lights to flicker on and the hand-embroidered insects come to life through sound and movement. The buzzing sound of each insect is amplified as it collides with the glass and differs depending on the size of the mouth-blown glass globes. “We have created a calm, yet alluring atmosphere, where people can engage with the installation and each other,” say the designers on the London Design Festival’s website. “It is a playful experience, but also a thoughtful project pointing at mankind’s relationship to nature. We want people to be surprised and delighted.”
Curiosity Cloud was created for the 2015 London Design Festival and will remain on show at the V&A until September 27, 2015. After the festival, the installation will be relocated to Champagne and displayed at Perrier-Jouët’s Maison.
Photos by Liz Eve for Inhabitat