London-based designer Kim Thomé has collaborated with Swarovski on Zotem, an 18-meter-tall double-sided monolith embedded with more than 600 bespoke Swarovski crystals. Zotem, a landmark project for the London Design Festival September 19 – 27, is set to be unveiled at the V&A on September 15.
Featuring a colorful blend of light and movement, Zotem will occupy a central space in the Museum, rising vertically from the Grand Entrance up to the Contemporary Ceramics gallery, on the sixth floor and will be in place from September 15 through to October 31 this year. Making use of the high atrium that connects the Grand Entrance with the Ceramics Galleries, Zotem creates a visual link between the two spaces, prompting visitors to explore the building’s interior architecture in a new way.
A roll of vividly printed mesh runs in a continuous loop inside the two aluminium faces – moving up one side and down the other. As light shines through the graphic mesh and the crystals, the pattern and color is projected and distorted, creating a dynamic effect that brings the crystals to life.
The title, Zotem is a word-blending of the sounds and meanings of ‘totem’ and ‘zoetrope’ – a 19th century animation device that pre-dates film and gives the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of isolated drawings that appear to move as they flick past the eye in quick succession. The looping mechanism of Zotem, which is visible through the open sides of the structure, also references the traditional animation device.