International designers Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale are joining forces with leading British tile manufacturer Johnson Tiles to produce an immersive installation for the London Design Festival which will be positioned on the bridge over the Medieval and Renaissance galleries at the V&A.
Taken from the French term that means ‘placed in the abyss’, ‘Mise-en-abyme’, will be unveiled on the opening day of the London Design Festival 2015, which runs across the capital from the 19 to the 27 September.
The piece is being produced using bespoke floor tiling from Johnson Tiles, teamed with huge transparent acrylic shapes that visitors can walk through. The resulting effect will be a changing sense of perspective when travelling from one end of the bridge to the other.
Laetitia and Matteo explained: “What we wanted from the start was to create an experiment. Something that was not just a piece of design to look at but also an experience for the visitor. We tried to match the work with the materials, themes and colours at the location and so took the inspiration from the V&A itself.”
The theme of line drawing perspective grids, which emerged in the Renaissance period and can be seen in the large-scale objects on display below the bridge, influenced the design of the base ceramic tiling of the flooring. Johnson Tiles are creating these using advanced Artile technology which prints a bespoke colour design onto the tiles – each section has 3% less colour than the one before to create a gradient effect from one end to the other. The pale colours of each transparent acrylic frame above them also vary in different outlines and shades to create a subtle, almost floating effect that complements the materials on display in the adjacent Glass galleries and optimises the natural light of the grand museum.
Darren Clanford, Creative Director at Johnson Tiles, says: “It’s very important to us to support new creative talent for the London Design Festival and we’re excited to collaborate with Laetitia and Matteo on our most ambitious piece yet. We relished the opportunity to produce a new and bespoke tile design that would make their ideas a reality.”
Laetitia and Matteo added: “We felt from the start that Johnson Tiles understood us and our way of designing. They shared our passion and willingness to experiment, which has made this project so creative. We’re so excited about the festival and can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

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Photography: Olivia Esyebanez & Jean-François C. Lemay

see de Allegri and Fogale