London Design Exquis: How is soap linked to music?

Design Exquis is an exhibtion, now in it’s third edition, that takes the concept of “exquisite corpse” and the children’s game consequences, where you  start writing a story on a piece of paper, fold it over and pass it to the next person to continue. In this exhibition, instead of using paper and pen, the dialogue was between designers. Five designers were selected by curators Florian Dussopt and Geraldine Vessiere, and were asked to create an object inspired by the previous designer.


To start things off, an initial object had to be selected. In this case, it was a bar of soap.

Object #1: The starting object: a bar of soap



Object #2: Ice Cream Maker.Designer Jacopo Sarzi, a food designer (yes… somehow this option was not in my career’s fair) strangely noticed that the traditional method of making soap and ice cream were similar – both required intense stirring and mixing of fat with another ingredient. The key difference was the temperature, for soap, you use heat, but for ice cream, you need cold.

From here, he created a beautiful ice cream maker made from cork and aluminium that could be made in the traditional Roman way. During the opening night of the exhibition, Jacopo and his helper showed their muscles by creating it for us to taste. The two flavours made were olive oil and lavender (I went for olive oil which was delish!).





Object #3: Summer Bowls. German design duo Philipp Schöpfer and Daniel Klapsing make up Studio 45 Kilo, were then given the ice cream machine and had the wonderful feeling of summer. From here, they created a series of sleek and colourful containers inspired by the colours and tastes of ice cream – I love the stracciatella top!


Object #4: Mountain Light. For the design duo Studio Swine, they took a step from summer to utopia. The feeling of summer conjured up memories of holidays in the mountains. This beautiful object, is made of faux marble, and is a desk light embedded in the rock and elevated on brass legs to give it an architectural touch. The warm LED lights give a sense of summer all year round.


Object #5: Reflections. The angular shapes of the Mountain Light reminded Designer Lex Pott of an open book and the book matching technique, where a single block of stone is cut in the middle like a book to create a mirrored pattern. Using this technique, he created a book matched marble room divider. He then went on to use a mirror with a piece of stone to create shelves with a mirrored pattern.


Object #6: Metamorphosis. For this third edition of Design Exquis, the curators asked music composer and sound designerNick Phillips to create the 6th element. Nick, instead of creating an object, transformed the marble material into sound by taking a picture of Lex’s marble into sound patterns. This formed the template for a sound piece to be created which was played through headphones and also via speakers in the gallery.



The exhibition is showing until  16 November at the breathtaking Roca Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid.


(Music composer and designer Nick Phillips, curator and designer Florian Dussopt and guest).

2 thoughts on “London Design Exquis: How is soap linked to music?

  1. Ooh, now I fully understood the concept of Design Exquis, how amazing! And how beautiful each creation was too! Really really want to try that olive oil ice cream! And I want those containers in my house 🙂



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