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Swarovski serves as “de facto landmark” at London Design Festival

August 3, 2015

Zotem sketch Zotem sketch


Precision cut-crystal maker Swarovski’s latest artist collaboration brings the brand to the central hub of the London Design Festival beginning Sept. 19.

Created by London-based Norwegian artist Kim Thomé, the sculpture titled “Zotem,” a cross between a totem pole and a 19th century zoetrope, will welcome festival attendees to the Victoria & Albert Museum, where much of the event’s program takes place. Swarovski often partners with fashion brands and artists that take the brand's raw materials and transforms them into works of art.

Welcome sign
Mr. Thomé’s approximately 60-foot sculpture, a double-sided monolith embedded with Swarovski crystals, will be placed within the museum’s entrance way. As with pieces placed here in the past, the Zotem sculpture will encourage discovery among the museum's many rooms.

In an interview with Wallpaper magazine, Mr. Thomé said, “When I first asked about the space that we would be using, I went up to the ceramics floor. I had always found it quite hard to get up there, even though it’s one of my favorite places in the V&A. For me it was important that the motions of the crystal patterns actually lead your eye upwards.”

Zotem consists of matte black aluminum cut into a geometric grid. The grid frames more than 600 Swarovski crystals to create an “enchanting, prismatic effect.”

Within the frame, a roll of printed mesh will move to create “dynamic color action” as the natural light shines through Zotem and is refracted and reflected by the Swarovski crystals. thome wallpaper

Zotem and Kim Thomé. Photography by Mark Cocksedge for Wallpaper magazine

Swarovski crystal is often used as a medium for artists and incorporated into the world’s leading design festivals.

For instance, in 2013, Swarovski used Tumblr to generate awareness of its eleventh annual Crystal Palace think tank where a chosen creative visionary works to reevaluate the use of crystal.

Swarovski’s Tumblr built anticipation among design and brand enthusiasts through sneak peeks and teaser materials of the participating architect and designer Guilherme Torres. Mr. Torres’ architectural installation, “Mangue Groove,” was housed at Design Miami in Miami Beach, FL, where Swarovski has been a main sponsor since 2008 (see story).