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Design Culture Salon 12, V&A Museum

Fashion cycles and design culture

Anyone standing outside the disciplines of fashion and design research might be surprised to discover that conversations between the two are not as fluid or productive as they might be. Within the art school, for instance, the two are taught as quite distinct disciplines with their own traditions, cultures and identities. Recognising these boundaries and […]

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Salon panel from left to right: Rachel Aldred, Carlton Reid, Kat Jungnickel (Chair), Justin Spinney and Jenni Gwiazdowski.

How is the Urban Mobile Cyclist Designed?

Reflections on Design Culture Salon 10: How is the Urban Mobile Cyclist designed?  The question of whether or not you choose to cycle to work is more than a practical decision: it can reveal a lot about our gender, social background and personality. It also forces us to behave in particular ways. Friction between cyclists, […]

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London Design Festival at the V&A

Halfway through the Festival week, I finally have time to sit down at my computer to write this post. The London Design Festival is the main focus of my job – I work on everything from the installations and displays to the huge events programme, press, parties, and everything in between. The London Design Festival […]

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Photo of Film poster, My Architect (2003).

Louis Kahn: the architect’s architect?

The American architect Louis Kahn (1907-1974) is often described as ‘the architect’s architect’. This was how he was introduced to an audience gathered at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) yesterday evening for a special screening of the film My Architect, a documentary made by Kahn’s son Nathaniel, first released in 2003. As the President […]

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Designing Postmodernism, Part 8: Coup de Grace

Postmodernism opens in one short week and we’ve now finalized the exhibition, ready for press previews. I thought I’d write one last post on the exhibition-making process, focusing on the installation of the objects themselves. This may seem like the most straightforward aspect of the project – just set the chairs on plinths, hang the […]

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Designing Postmodernism, Part 7: The Build

Less than a month now ’til opening, and the Postmodernism exhibition is moving rapidly from ‘sketch’ to ‘product’. The past two weeks have been devoted to what we call ‘the build,’ that is, the construction of the cases, platforms, walls, and scenographic elements for the show. At the end of this process we’ll be ready […]

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Designing Postmodernism, Part 6: Mannequins

OK, here’s a seriously cool design process for you: putting together the mannequins for the display of 1980s fashion. With designers like Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo, and Karl Lagerfeld included alongside pop stars like Devo, David Byrne, and Annie Lennox, and choreographers like Michael Clark, Kazuo Ohno, and Karole Armitage, costume is definitely going to be a highlight of the Postmodernism project.

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Designing Postmodernism, Part 5: Birth of a Label

I know I've already posted about the graphic design for our Postmodernism show, but we've just finished the label design for the exhibition and there's a new example of "sketch to product" process that is just too good to pass up. It comes courtesy of Jason Wolfe, one of the designers at APFEL (who are doing all the graphics for the show).

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Paper Architecture

Architects have been drawing for a long time, often without much hope that their ideas will be realized. Some of the most famous images from the history of discipline, like the Cenotaph (or death monument) for the astronomer Newton designed by Étienne-Louis Boullée, would have been impossible to construct even if the budget had been forthcoming.

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John Abbott: Portrait of a Plasterworker

This guest post has been contributed by Jenny Saunt, a recent graduate of the V&A/RCA Course in the History of Design.

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