Enter through the Grand entrance of the V&A and look up. Here you are greeted by the 28.280 custom-made chandelier by Canada-based designer Omer Arbel. Hung from the Cupola, the highest point of the building, the installation spans the vast height of the Museum, cascading more than 30 metres through the centre of the Ceramics Galleries, past the coffered ceiling beneath and finally appearing above the main doorway as visitors enter the museum.
The installation is made up of 280 individual 28 Series glass pendant lamps, each of which is handmade at design brand Bocci’s glass factory in Canada using a fabrication process developed by Arbel. He explains, “28 Series is an exploration of a fabrication process which is part of our 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 intermittently 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 inner shapes, one of which is made of opaque milk glass and houses a light source.”
Part of London Design Festival 2013