Icon experiment 30.03.08

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Icon is going 3D, with seaweed, ice cream, hot wax, chewing gum and string. The icon experiment is a series of performances and installations by designers taking place at the ExCel exhibition centre for nine days in May as part of Grand Designs Live London.

The line-up includes Julia Lohmann, who will be hanging up freshly harvested seaweed to dry and making products from it in a temporary studio on site. “It does smell a bit,” she admits, “but it’s being harvested directly from the Irish sea. It’s an amazing material and very beautiful when it’s held up to the light.”

Studio Glithero will be making 20 miniature chandeliers out of hot wax, and Stuart Haygarth is constructing another chandelier from hundreds of sunglasses. What Martino Gamper will be re-appropriating is yet to be decided, but inevitably it’s going to involve some classic furniture and a rather large saw.

In a more low-key style, digitally swaying blades of grass by Simon Heijdens will be projected onto walls and Tokyo’s WOW studio will be playing with light and objects.

There is a distinct funfair feel to Ted Noten’s area of the stand. He is holding a competition for his Chew Your Own Brooch project, where visitors are invited to chew gum, spit it out and turn it into a piece of jewellery. The three winning designs will then be cast in gold, silver and bronze and made into brooches. There will also be the opportunity to play with Noten’s Mr Claw machine – you can keep whatever you can grab – and students from London’s Royal College of Art will be providing some entertainment with an intelligent ice cream machine.

All of this will be curated by icon in a 250sq m space designed by FAT.

The icon experiment at Grand Designs Live London is at ExCel, 3-11 May


above Sketches for Julia Lohmann’s Kelp project

below Sarah Van Gameren’s chandelier-dipping experiment

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