On the eve of London Fashion Week, I visited the V&A museum for the opening of ‘Transmission’ by Ross Lovegrove and Alcantara. The exhibition marks 15 years of the London Design Festival, which is internationally recognised as a celebration of design, innovation and extraordinary talent.
The instillation itself is quite stunning – 21 metres of free-standing three-dimensional tapestry made entirely from Alcantara®.
Now. If you’re anything like me, you are probably already aware of Alcantara without quite knowing how or why. Alcantara® is high-tech luxury material which has led to its use by many leading manufacturers including automotive, interior design and electronics. So if you’ve ever felt a panel of soft, breathable, sustainable material, it is quite likely that you have already experienced the joy of Alcantara®.
Founded in 1972, Alcantara is at the pinnacle of Italian design, and leads the charge on environmental awareness. The material is entirely free of animal products, and was certified ‘carbon neutral’ in 2009.
The instillation – designed and created by Ross Lovegrove – was inspired by the great tapestries in the V&A, and the colour matching is incredible. At full length, the structure is 21 metres long, but it has been woven into a zig-zag shape to fit the room. Alcantara’s CEO, Mr Andrea Boragno, explained that they wanted to bring the tapestries to life by allowing the public to get close to a representation of them, able to touch the Alcantara®. Alcantara® was the perfect material for the artwork, since the versatility lends itself to any and all projects.
The instillation is available for public view at the V&A museum – Tapestry room – until 8th October 2017, free of charge. For more information, visit their website.