Drop by Paul Cocksedge at LDF

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

One of the more attention-grabbing exhibits during this year's London Design Festival is Drop, a giant, magnetic brass coin by British designer Paul Cocksedge. Drop will be on display for the duration of the festival on London's Southbank, overlooking the Thames. WGSN-Homebuildlife met with Cocksedge to find out more about the project and the ideas behind it.

Photograph: Susan Smart

What was your inspiration for Drop?

London was the main inspiration: as a Londoner it was a great opportunity and a great space with fantastic resources. I thought it would be quite special to make something in metal. I visited the bridge and looked at the site and had a think about what it could be. All of the pretty things I thought of, I wasn't sure I could stand by them; I thought "does London really need them?" 

So you needed it to have more meaning?

There needed to be another aspect to it which is the interactive part of the project; the human plating. It starts off as a satin-finish brass object, which resembles a coin that has fallen from the sky and changed shape. It becomes something else, it becomes copper. The copper comes from us - the people. The coin is designed to only attract copper coins, so over time the surface will change. I'm excited about how it will look: the contrast between this initial shine, and the eventual skin of different copper tones. 

The other layer is the charitable aspect. We have a sponsor who has agreed that for every coin that is stuck to the  Drop, they will contribute a pound. So at the end of the installation, if we have 100,000 pennies that will be £100,000 that goes to Barnardo's.

Photograph: Susan Smart

What's the key aspect of this installation for you?

I'm most excited about the transformation of this piece, which is out of my control. A lot of design is about control and creating the finished object. I'm much more excited about what London will do to this. The colours will change, people will layer the coins, you can even stick the coins on by the edge to create incredible texture - if people do that it would be really interesting!

Your designs usually involve light. Was this project a departure?
All of my projects have involved light but weren't necessarily all about the light. I don't like lamps; as soon as you try and make light into an object it fails.

You're also involved in another installation for LDF.
 The project we're doing in the V&A, 'A Gust of Wind': it's about transforamtion of Corian into a really light visual. I can't give too much away, it's a secret. To find out you'll have to be there on Friday 24th at 6.30pm.

Cocksedge's recommendations for London Design Festival 2010
  • The Hospital Club
  • The V&A
  • Established and Sons: designers will be behind the bar at the Wenlock Arms during Established & Sons' takeover for LDF. Look out for the secret lock-in, during which Cocksedge has agreed to man the bar himself

Ali Morris & Sarah Housley