Design Exquis / Roca London Gallery

If you've ever played a game of Chinese whispers and enjoyed seeing what the end result would be, now imagine the design version, intrigued...

Design Exquis hosted by the amazing Roca London Gallery is the third in the series, the last was at Clerkenwell Design Week earlier in the year. 

Five designers were invited by the exhibitions curators to take part. The first designer received a bar of soap as inspirational starting point and had one month to design, make and pass their object onto the next designer.  Each designer unaware of the previous and received their object as a complete surprise until it was opened.

Let's take a look at the results. 

Lex Pott /  Design Exquis


The starting point - A Bar of Soap

Designer 1 - Object Ice-cream maker by Jacopo Sarzi

Designer Jacopo Sarzi noticed the similarity in the way soap and ice cream were created; both ancient products, they each required intense stirring; mixing fat with another ingredient; using heat in one case and cold in the other.

Finding the soap a source of great inspiration, Jacopo created an ice cream maker manufactured using cork and aluminium that can produce ice cream the traditional Roman way.

Jacopo Sarzi / Ice cream maker


Designer 2 - Object Summer Bowls by 45 Kilo

Design Studio 45 Kilo pursued the feeling of summer, by creating a group of containers inspired by the colours and tastes of ice cream. The bowls are hand made by a traditional metal spinner, which leaves traces of the wooden mould on the metal and features colour-anodized aluminium surfaces, more commonly associated with digital devices, plus Corian tops to give a contemporary feel.

Summer Bowls / 45 Kilo

Design Exquis / Roca Design Gallery

Design Exquis / Roca Design Gallery


Designer 3 - Object Mountain Light by Studio Swine

There is a short step from summer to utopia. For design team Studio Swine, Summer Bowls raised questions about the construction of paradise, the feeling of holidays and playful modernist architecture in the land of the endless summer - particularly Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

This idea of utopia and the synthesis of the natural and the constructed inspired Studio Swine to use a new faux marble technique, exploring the integration of modernist architecture with nature through luxury interiors and glass facades. Mountain Light is a desk light embedded in the rock and elevated on brass legs to give an architectural feel. Warm LED lights are used to bring a summer ambience to the interior all year round.

Mountain Light / Studio Swine


Designer 4 - Object Reflections by Lex Pott

The angular shape of Mountain Light (4) reminded designer Lex Pott of an open book. It gave him the idea to refer to the book matching technique used in the wood and stone industry, when a solid block of stone or wood is cut in two to open like a book, creating a mirrored pattern. Known for working with natural materials as his primary source, Lex Pott created a book matched marble room divider and six shelves. For the shelves, the second part of the stone is replaced with a mirror to create an artificially accurate reflection. Thanks to the imaginary space created by the mirror, the object becomes complete.

Reflections / Lex Pott

Design Exquis / Roca Design Gallery


Designer 5 - Metamorphosis by Nick Phillips

For this third edition of Design Exquis, the curators asked music composer and sound designer Nick Phillips to react to Lex Pott’s object. With his creation, Metamorphosis, Nick transforms marble into sound using a technical method to convert the grain and colour of a picture Lex's marble into sound patterns. From this sonic template and images of the marble he took the composition further to create a sound piece which is played through headphones and also aloud in the gallery to accompany visitors on their Design Exquis journey.

Metamorphosis / Nick Phillips

Nick Phillips / Metamorphosis for Design Exquis


Design Exquis is curated by Florian Dussopt and Géraldine Vessière.

On show at Roca London Gallery until 16 Nov 2013

Design Exquis / Roca Design Gallery