Candela is an immersive installation at the V&A for the London Design Festival designed in collaboration with graphic designer Michael Montgomery and ceramicist Ian McIntyre. This project is the first time the three designers have come together to form multidisciplinary team de Pass, Montgomery, McIntyre.
Due to the light sensitivity of the medieval textiles on display, the V&A Tapestries Gallery is one of the darkest spaces in the museum. The installation comprises a large rotary machine that sits centrally, hovering just off the gallery floor. As the face of the machine revolves it passes through a light source that charges its surface, in turn emitting this energy as after glow.
The continual revolution of the machine creates a perpetual ebb and flow of light-patterns travelling across the structure. This rich layering effect plays with the memory of the phosphorescent material also used on the dials of sponsor Panerai’s watches. The title of the installation, Candela, comes from the standard unit of luminous intensity: a common candle emits light with a luminous intensity of roughly one candela.