Friday, July 31, 2015



London, July 23, 2015 – 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 15through 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.

Zotem is a dynamic piece, designed to draw visitors’ eyes upwards. Rising and falling through the floors, prismatic colors and linear patterns are reflected and refracted by Swarovski crystal to create an entrancing visual illusion. The installation comprises custom-made Swarovski crystals scaled up to 2.5 times their regular size and displayed in a grid pattern within a frame of matte black aluminium.
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 colour 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.

Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “Swarovski is delighted to continue its support of the London Design Festival, collaborating with emerging, London-based designer Kim Thomé to create an installation at the V&A. Zotem reveals the interplay between light, color, and the experimentation with our crystal – this high-rising structure is the perfect way to celebrate the capital’s growing design talent”.

Kim Thomé commented: “I was inspired to create a piece which really fills the magnificent space within the V&A, helps visitors to climb upwards and explore the Museum, and celebrates the colors and mystery created by these giant cut crystals. My visit to Swarovski’s Kristallwelten gave me the confidence to play with scale, and the creative and technical collaboration with their engineers allowed me to create these amazing crystals especially for this project. I love the way it looks digital, but is actually a giant visual illusion”.

Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. Now celebrating its 120th anniversary and run by the fifth generation of family members, Swarovski Crystal Business has a global reach with approximately 2,560 stores in around 170 countries, more than 25,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.33 billion euros in 2014. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2014, the Group generated revenue of about 3.05 billion euros and employed more than 30,000 people. The Swarovski Foundation was set up in 2012 to honor the philanthropic spirit of founder Daniel Swarovski. Its mission is to support creativity and culture, promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources.

London Design Festival
The London Design Festival is an annual event, held to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community. The London Design Festival this year will be 19 - 27

Kim Thomé
Norwegian born Kim Thomé runs his studio from East London, working on private commissions and developing new installations and furniture. Kim graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2012 and has since exhibited at A Palazzo Gallery, William Bennington Gallery, 100% Norway, Pavilion of Art and Design (PAD), Habitat and recently showcased for Wallpaper* Handmade in Milan. His works finds a balance between installation and objects, working to blend a mixture of graphic elements and optical play in material and spaces.

The V&A is the world’s greatest museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform. The V&A has been the main hub of the London Design Festival since

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