Sabine Marcelis’ installation in London encourages interaction

Sabine Marcelis’ marble swivel seats bring London Square to life

London Design Festival 2022: Sabine Marcelis presents Swivel (until November 2022), in partnership with Almacantar and with natural stone from SolidNature

Sabine Marcelis unveiled a collection of ten revolving marble seats scattered across St Giles Square, commissioned by the 2022 London Design Festival to bring public spaces to life. In its 20 years, the London Design Festival has made design accessible through dynamic installations that encourage audiences to discover and interact with design.

“The biggest change in the last 20 years has been the audience: there has been a profound change in their knowledge and enthusiasm for design: it strengthens the work on public design,” says festival director Ben Evans. “But visitors [to the London Design Festival] are not all design enthusiasts, they are people who come across it and we can present them with a design story and spark something.”

The installation by Marcelis certainly fits the bill: the “playground of seats” consists of rotating chairs in two-tone marble defined by candy colors, adding a new level to the square.

Installation by the Sabine Marcelis London Design Festival

According to Marcelis, the aim of the installation is to give the square color and movement. “It’s a transitional space, with multiple entrances and exits that connect the subway, commercial areas, dining, and historical sites. I wanted to keep that sense of movement and transition, but at the same time allow for a moment of stillness and interaction in this space.’

The relatively new space sits behind the recently restored Center Point, a transitional space whose monochromatic, gray palette inspired Marcelis to experiment with a profusion of colorful marbles. Her chosen palette is a mix of travertine, quartzite and marble, with colors ranging from green, red, yellow, blue to purple, each heavily textured.

“This project, like most of my work, is a celebration of materials,” comments Marcelis, who has often created impressive color effects with resin, glass and natural stone throughout her career. “I wanted to respond to the space by bringing a bit of color and fun to this urban setting. I deliberately chose a natural material in a range of colors to create a stark contrast to the surrounding architecture and man-made material palette.”

Seats are presented in pairs, encouraging play and interaction. “Sabine came up with something that’s sturdy and sturdy but has a movement, and it was great to see people coming and interacting with them,” Evans continues.

“As an interactive piece, it invites the audience to choose how they want to experience the space,” adds Marcelis. “It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, get friends to sit together, or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves.” §

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