The Victoria & Albert Museum is the nucleus of the London Design Festival, the nine-day city-wide program that grows in scale and scope every year. Within the V&A itself, a suite of specially commissioned temporary installations is equally diverse and dispersed, colonizing far-flung corners of the sprawling building and interacting with permanent displays to cast new light on the museum’s architecture and collections.
“Liquid Marble,” by French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, presents a contemporary essay in ornament and material richness amid the gilded carvings and pale wood panelling of an eighteenth-century music room. Four panels of black marble are set like a low table in the center of the space, whose polished surface has been carved into aqueous ripples recreating 3D scans of ocean waves. Artificial candlelight sparkles on the dark surface like whitecaps on a stormy sea.