If you have been following my Adventures into Time & Lace you will have noticed two things I’ve become very enthusiastic about – the use of light in lacemaking and the concept of using lace architecturally. You can imagine then how I felt this month, when I discovered “electronic lace on an architectural scale”. Lace lovers, I bring you Loop.PH’s ArchiLace.
In their website bio Loop.PH describe themselves as a London based spatial laboratory experimenting across the fields of design, architecture and the sciences, founded in 2003 by Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield. In 2012 they created the winning proposal for a new light commission for Kensington Palace, featured as part of the refurbishment work there.
We learn that Kensington ArchiLace was hand woven by a skilled team of London lacemakers using over 4 kilometres of electroluminescent wire and 12,000 Swarovski Crystals. The design of the piece drew from and was inspired by the lace patterns held in the Royal Collection.
Cutting edge digital tools were seamlessly combined with the ancient art of manipulating fibres into cloth, forging a path between antiquity and the present. Kensington ArchiLace illuminates the long history the palace has with the art of lace. The act of making lace is an endless process of cyclical movement’s, twisting and untwisting, constructing and reconstructing. Repetition, reproduction, patterning and layering. These very qualities were brought to life and animated within the palace.
The lace lies at the heart of Kensington’s new entrance, drawing visitors through the space, providing a focal point for the stone hall and helping visitors to navigate their way through the Palace by offering a beacon to which visitors can return.
I love the way Loop.PH have brought together old and new and created an experiential lace piece, vividly bringing lace to life and reminding us how this traditional craft can still be very relevant today. It’s as if you can step right into a piece of lacework and feel it all around you. Creating new and innovative ways of experiencing lacework is a really important part of keeping the tradition of lacemaking alive.
ArchiLace is a technique Loop.PH have been developing and working with for a number of years and they have created a number of stunning ArchiLace pieces, exhibited across Europe and beyond.