During the London Design Festival eleventh edition, the Canadian design brand Bocci is presenting a lighting installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum, called '28.280' and designed by Omer Arbel. The installation, featuring Bocci’s celebrated 28, descends through the large existing void cutting through the entire length of the V&A building, with an astonishing height of more than 30 meters.
28 is an exploration of a fabrication process - part of Arbel’s and Bocci’s quest for specificity Instead of designing form itself, here the intent was to design a system that haphazardly yields form, almost as a byproduct. 28 pendants result from a complex glass blowing technique whereby air pressure is introduced into and then removed from a glass matrix which is intermittently heated and then rapidly cooled. The result is a distorted spherical shape with a composed collection of innershapes, one of which is made of opaque milk glass and houses a light source.
The installation continues Omer’s personal research into the process of making, and documents Arbel’s remarkable journey as an articulator of form.
He said: "We have always dreamed of mounting a light installation in a very very tall space… In the world of ideas, a tall space is the most appropriate environment for our pieces (abstractly speaking, I could say the ONLY environment for our pieces). Hence, to have the opportunity to finally build a piece in a very tall space, and at the V&A no less, really excites us on both a personal and professional level. We’ve envisioned the most ambitious iteration of our 28 to date”.
Omer Arbel’s practice has evolved to intimately combine the fields of industrial design, architecture, manufacturing and materials research. This interdisciplinary approach was born of the necessities of building a sustainable and ambitious office in a context with little opportunity within the cultural periphery, but has since transformed into a structure uniquely positioned to explore the rich area of investigation in the overlap of these fields.
Accolades include several Red Dot and iF Awards, a Yellow Pencil Yearbook Entry, the Ron Thom Early Design Achievement Award, a World Architecture Festival Shortlist and, with Corrine Hunt, the commission to design the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Medals. Arbel leads OAO (Omer Arbel Office), a multidisciplinary design practice and he acts as Creative Director for the Design and Manufacturing company Bocci. Both companies have achieved near instant critical and commercial success, and position Arbel as a young voice within the international design community.