Museum of contemporary design and applied arts Lausanne
With a stroke of luck, the cosmic marble eye rescues and revives our childhood memories buried in the sand.
The first macro-marbles were created in 2007 by the design duo Valérie Jacquemet and Jodoc Elmiger as a long-term sculpture for an academic centre. Their concept chosen, the two designers decided to work with the master glassmaker Matteo Gonet, who brilliantly rose to the technical challenge. Each macro-marble measured approximately 17 cm in diameter and weighed around 8 kilograms.
Bags of marbles, drills, foam and aluminium rings in hand, the renegade designers again provoke an interdisciplinary epidemic of colour throughout the academic centre, studding the concrete walls with 1000 little marbles, free to bounce under children’s fingers… As if the macro-marbles incubating in their metallic mould, on the ceiling of the “space of lost steps”, have spread all over the school…
Subversive nibbling Integration into the concrete corridors and classrooms
One thousand little cat-eye marbles of 15 mm in diameter map out the random constellations, the academic centre’s paths of walls, lodged in concrete or wood. The idea is a subversive blade, as if one were nibbling away at the school walls.Sowing seeds of colour, at times mischievous, like when the marbles are inserted next to a crucifix, hidden behind a black canvas or discretely attached to toilets.
The youngest children, who are often more sensitive to small objects than to monumental sculptures, can follow the marble paths, touch their favourite ones, roll them inside their little hole in the concrete. Each installation in the wall is carpeted in foam and mounted on an aluminium ring, so the marbles are free to turn and bounce when pressed with a finger.
Sphere, absolute volume, familiar and at the same time inaccessible, supreme geometry, intriguing and fascinating form that piques curiosity, the desire to discover the surprising inner world of atomic mysteries… The sculpture of the “space of lost steps”: On the ceiling of the “space of lost steps”, 14 pure glass marbles sparkle, hanging in long-term incubation in their metal net-mould, each one unique and macroscopic at 20 cm in diameter and eleven kilograms, the tri-colour cat-eye marble of our creation. A child-like universe of transparency and reflection playing with the light from the large adjacent window… From childhood, a happy time bursting with lollipop flavours, candy-coloured dreams… Memories were transparent, colourful and bright as jewels. A completely care-free atmosphere, like colourful glass marbles…
The traditional glass marble stands as an archetypical object that could captivate nostalgic adults as well as children in the time of Nintendo and toy marketing. The marble represents a common link : generations of kids have plunged eyes-wide-open into its microcosm. For today’s child, the marble reinforces the mysteries of a miniature world; it is an invitation to dream, the precious sound of the hand rummaging in the bottom of a bag of marbles, a jewel that can be exchanged, touched, counted, a social game that can never be virtual… The material also offers an educational element: the glass represents longevity in a consumer society where everything is discarded.
The Swiss design duo, Jodoc Elmiger and Valérie Jacquemet, developed the macro-marbles in 2007 for an art competition. A reflection of the original sculpture that accompanies the installation of the 1000 little marbles lodged in swarms into the concrete are visible in the genesis of the project.
The Swiss master glassmaker Matteo Gonet exquisitely created each of these unique pieces in his Atelier Glassworks. Images of the birth of a macro-marble can be seen on the site’s gallery.
Graduate of ECAL in 1993, Valérie is a Swiss designer and multidisciplinary artist. She has worked independently in Lausanne for over 20 years. She has won numerous competitions, in both the field of art (concept and creation of artwork for the school En Bresse with Jodoc in 2007) and in graphic design with, at the start of her activity, the international Biennale de l’Affiche de Chaumont in France and Lathi Poster Biennale in Finland.
She develops other interests, such as writing, visual arts and, with a taste for the ephemeral magic and urgency, dance, performance and slam poetry, presenting her own poems. In 2008, she became an author-interpreter under pseudonym, singing unusual concerts within a psyche experimental quartet. In 2013, she produced their first album of 13 original titles – an unprecedented universe between frenzy, erotica, feminine, naivety, punk, and bitter-sweet poetry.
Jodoc earned his degree in industrial design at ECAL in 1998. He worked at Rolex and the atelier oï and later, in 2000, he started his own business and elaborated, in partnership with designer Christophe Moinat and graphic designer Claude Bæchtold, the museography of the Salt Mines of Bex, representing a playful and poetic design of over 3,000 m². Over a four-year period, he worked on a project as an independent industrial designer for Tupperware Europe Africa & the Middle East.
Until 2013, Jodoc was focused on entrepreneurship with the financial and developmental support of minizepp SA, creator of drones for clients such ESA NASA and many Prestigious Tech universities (the company has since been sold). He also conceptualised and created the work of art for the school in En Bresse with Valérie. He worked for two more years as consultant for various drones startup's.
Ever since, Jodoc has taken advantage of his experiences to focus on creating and finishing personal industrial design projects as well as developing various artistic series such as the flying pigments and photography of the free well of 3D reconstruction software.
Born in 1979, Matteo grew up between Lugano and Lausanne. Following a welding apprenticeship in Germany at the age of 14 in the department of ceramic glass jewellery, he became a partner, an adventure which led to five years of travel in France, Germany, Italy, Holland and the Czech Republic.
Then he studied design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and later worked at the Centre International de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts plastiques (CIRVA) in Marseille where he met several artists, such as Jean-Michel Othoniel, who made regular orders from his collection.
At the end of his studies in 2001, Matteo was selected for an artist residency in Sydney. Finally, he unpacked his suitcase for good in Basel, or more specifically in Münchenstein at an old industrial site dedicated to aluminium metal rolling, today transformed into a “Cité d’artisans”.
In 2004, he founded his own glass and design studio where he directs a team of seven artisans, devoting his unique skills to the service of private clients, artists, designers and renowned architects.