Research

Research is a core activity of the V&A, and it grows out of our original commitment to advancing the arts and sciences that shape the world around us. The Research Department works with experts throughout the Museum and a wide range of external partners in increasing access to and understanding of the collections in our care, helping to make the world’s oldest and largest museum of art and design a leading centre for object-led learning at the interface between history, theory and practice.

The Research section of the V&A blog will offer progress reports and provocations, sneak previews and glimpses behind the scenes, from people working on and in our collections.

Image: Pair of suede shoes, made in England, 1950s. X-ray image by Paul Robins, Object Number T.12-1990. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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SOUND IN MUSEUMS by Eric de Visscher, VARI Visiting Professor

What's Your Favourite Sound?

Hearing, together with its active component, listening, is a means by which we sense the events of life, aurally visualize spatial geometry, propagate cultural symbols, stimulate emotions, communicate aural information, experience the movement of time, build social relationships, and retain the memory of experiences Barry Blesser and Linda-Ruth Salter, Spaces Speak These were among the […]

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Designing the Dome of the Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall, photographed in 1872, V&A 73273.

This is part of an ongoing series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, composed to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display on view at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. As part of her research for the display, […]

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From the Royal Albert Hall to the Victorian Home: The Many Uses of the Magic Lantern

The Monarch Ethopticon Bi-Unial Magic Lantern

This is one of a series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, written to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. Following on from the frieze around the 244 metre circumference of […]

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History of Design Students Discover What Made Palladio’s Architectural Drawings Unique

The oldest and largest surviving architectural drawing on papyrus which shows a shrine (c. 1300 BC), now in the Petrie Museum

As part of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA students were invited to participate in a week-long workshop entitled ‘Faking Palladio’ with Guido Beltramini, the director of the Palladio Centre in Vicenza, who in the Spring was based in the V&A’s Research Department, as one of the inaugural Mellon Professors, attached to VARI. In this […]

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DesignLab Nation: hidden connections

Emmanuel Cooper (1938-2012), Striped Dish, 1970, stoneware with black and white slips under bone-ash glaze, CIRC.490-1970 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Written by V&A/ University of Brighton, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Student Joanna Weddell The V&A recently announced that it will use the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016 prize money to fund DesignLab Nation, a programme to support design education in secondary schools, working with local museums, initially in Coventry and Blackburn. This blog […]

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Photography and the Creation of the Royal Albert Hall Mosaic Frieze

Detail of the Royal Albert Hall’s mosaic frieze, showing the section Agriculture by H. Stacy Marks. Photography by S. M. Harris

This is one of a series of blog posts by students from the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. It is written by Susan Harris. When visiting the Royal Albert Hall, […]

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Illustrating the Process is a Process

Museum Outside the Box illustration by Eileen Budd

One of my responsibilities as Project Manager for VARI, is tracking and documenting the progress of our projects.  I’m a big fan of the classics for this; spreadsheets and report writing, but its always struck me there are some things these methods miss out on. We often talk about projects as if they are clockwork objects, you simply look […]

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‘Unsurpassed Genius’: Godfrey Sykes and the Royal Albert Hall

terracotta cast

  This is one of a series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. It is written by Ruth Sykes.       Godfrey Sykes […]

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Terracotta and the Royal Albert Hall: The Spirit of Albertopolis

The façade of the Royal Albert Hall, with terracotta decorations

This is the first in a series of blog posts by students of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA programme, to accompany the ‘Building the Royal Albert Hall’ display at the V&A in Room 127 (the entrance to the Architecture Gallery) until 7 January 2018. It was written by Elena Porter. The display showcases -amongst other […]

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Recreating Sixteenth-Century Varnishes on the History of Design Course

Brushing the glaze over the paint

As part of the V&A/RCA History of Design MA course, during the spring term students have the chance to explore early modern making techniques as a form of historical research through practice.  With the support of V&A curators, conservators and tutors, students recreate early modern recipes to reflect on practices of making and the nature […]

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