London’s Victoria & Albert museum, the world’s largest design museum, is playing host to a slew of exhibits for the 2015 London Design Week, many of them site-specific. Take Kim Thome’s prismatic totem designed for the museum’s towering atrium, for example, or mischer’traxler’s interactive Curiosity Cloud, which will swarm from the ceiling the grandiose Norfolk Hall Music Room. For her contribution to next week’s festivities, British furniture designer Faye Toogood is taking visitors into the least suspecting corner of the museum: the coatroom.
But this is a coatroom of Toogood’s own creation, and promises to be much more exciting than your typical coat checking experience. Upon entry to the Cloakroom , visitors will snag one of the 150 coats off a moving circular rail to begin the experience. Made from Kvadrat’s Highfield, a high-tech compressed-foam textile, the garments look a bit like a lab coat, if it were made from psych ward’s padded walls. Each is identical save for a customized design on the back and a map of the museum sewn into the inner lining, which visitors are meant to follow the map for their own private treasure hunt. Along the way, they’ll discover more coats, these in the form of sculptures inspired by Toogood’s ten favorite museum pieces.
Toogood, whose background includes studying fine art and editing The World of Interiors magazine, is best known for her expressively minimalist furniture. Created using materials like studded industrial rubber, bronze, and marble, Toogood’s sculptures for this exhibit are all sourced from British manufacturers and local craftsmen which she holds in high regard.
The exhibition will run from September 19-27 as part of the London Design Festival.