Executive editor Kimberley Brown shares why bubble motifs are having a moment.
As thousands of visitors attending Design Miami last December discovered, cradling a fragile bubble in your hands is unexpectedly thrilling. The experience came courtesy of H&M sister label COS and Studio Swine, the London, U.K.-based art/architecture firm founded by married duo Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves. Inspired by Japan’s gorgeous-today-gone-tomorrow cherry blossoms, they designed a tree-like structure that drops mist-filled bubbles from its branches. Touched lightly with textured gloves, the bubbles stay whole. When they burst, they release fragrances inspired by Miami, such as coconut and grapefruit. (When the installation, called New Spring, debuted at Milan Design Week last April, it generated line-ups around the block.) “The piece has a calmness to it that draws you in,” says COS creative director Karin Gustaffson. “At first people are a little bit careful, but then they really want to hold the bubbles and interact with them.”
That sensation lingers long after, too. Ever since New Spring’s Design Miami launch, we’ve been a little obsessed with bubbles — and we’re not the only ones. Click through to see our favorite moments inspired the coolest form of water.