Design Exquis-Roca Edition | The story

London Design Festival 2013

From soap to sound, when the story traces back to ancient Rome

For the London Design Festival 2013 Design Exquis is telling a brand new story and instigates a new dialogue in collaboration with Roca London Gallery.

Inspired by the surrealist technique known as Exquisite Corpse or Cadavre Exquis, the new exhibition welcomes design studios 45 Kilo and Studio Swine and designers Jacopo Sarzi, Lex Pott and Nick Phillips. Each of them has accepted the challenge of creating an original object in only one month, or less.

This third story starts with a bar of soap, an ancient product, which gos back to 2800 BC in ancient Babylon, made out of a fat - vegetable or animal - and an alkaline substance.

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Soap

Designer Jacopo Sarzi noticed the similarity in the way soap and ice cream were created; both ancient products, they each required intense stirring; mixing fat with another ingredient; using heat in one case and cold in the other. Finding the soap a source of great inspiration, Jacopo created an ice cream maker manufactured using cork and aluminium that can produce ice cream the traditional Roman way.

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Ice Cream Machine by Jacopo Sarzi

Design Studio 45 Kilo pursued the feeling of summer, by creating a group of containers inspired by the colours and tastes of ice cream. The Summer Bowls are hand made by a traditional metal spinner, which leaves traces of the wooden mould on the metal and features colour-­‐anodized aluminum surfaces, more
commonly associated with digital devices, plus Corian tops to give a contemporary feel.

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Summer Bowls by 45 Kilo

There is a short step from summer to utopia. For design team Studio Swine, Summer Bowls raised questions about the construction of paradise, the feeling of holidays and playful modernist architecture in the land of the endless summer -­‐ particularly Palm Springs and Los Angeles.
This idea of utopia and the synthesis of the natural and the constructed inspired Studio Swine to use a new faux marble technique, exploring the integration of modernist architecture with nature through luxury interiors and glass facades. Mountain Light is a desk light embedded in the rock and elevated on brass legs to give an architectural feel. Warm LED lights are used to bring a summer ambience to the interior all year round.

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Mountain Light by Studio Swine

The angular shape of Mountain Light (4) reminded designer Lex Pott of an open book. It gave him the idea to refer to the book matching technique used in the wood and stone industry, when a solid block of stone or wood is cut in two to open like a book, creating a mirrored pattern. Known for working with natural materials as his primary source, Lex Pott created Reflections, a book matched marble room divider and six shelves. For the shelves, the second part of the stone is replaced with a mirror to create an artificially accurate reflection. Thanks to the imaginary space created by the mirror, the object becomes complete.

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Reflections by Lex Pott

For this third edition of Design Exquis, the curators asked music composer and sound designer Nick Phillips to react to Lex Pott’s object. With his creation, Metamorphosis, Nick transforms marble into sound using a technical method to convert the grain and colour of a picture Lex’s marble into sound patterns. From this sonic template and images of the marble he took the composition further to create a sound piece which is played through headphones and also aloud in the gallery to accompany visitors on their Design Exquis journey.

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Metamorphosis by Nick Phillips

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PARTNER OF DESIGN EXQUIS #3
Roca

PARTNER OF DESIGN EXQUIS #2
Clerkenwell Design Week 2013

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