Open daily 10.00 to 17.45 Admission free Menu
View of the Architecture Gallery

View of the Architecture Gallery

When we start developing new galleries, the first thing we try to do is a Baseline Study of the old galleries that are going to be transformed. This gives us valuable information that can be used comparatively when the new galleries are opened.

Then, as we start developing the rationale for the new gallery, we test concepts and ideas with our prospective visitors, and talk to them about how they would approach the proposed galleries. This is the Front-end Evaluation stage.

We also ask for visitors' feedback on various different types of interpretation that we are considering for the new galleries. One of the difficulties we have encountered is that people find it hard to assess these things theoretically. They needed to see concrete examples. Therefore as part of Formative Evaluation, we test mock-ups and prototypes for all the different types of interpretive devices that we are thinking of using in the galleries, including interactives and labels.

Finally, when the new galleries open we conduct summative evaluation. These are surveys that are comparable with the baseline and/or front-end studies. This gives us a broad-brush overview of visitors' responses and checks that we have done everything we set out to do.

Sometimes we carry out other surveys a few months after the galleries have opened. For example, for the British Galleries, a demographic survey was carried out again six months later. We then commissioned two in-depth studies on specific aspects: one about the Study Areas, Discovery Areas, Film Rooms and display issues; the other about individual interpretative devices.

List of reports

British Galleries research

Baseline study
Formative studies
Prototyping: AV, low-tech interactives & text
Prototyping computer interactives
Summative evaluation

Following this research, we developed a set of text guidelines. Their principles are now being applied throughout the Museum. The guidelines also include a section on the V&A house style and terminology.

Download: Gallery Text Guidelines for the British Galleries (PDF file, 359.9 KB)

You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to read some of these files. To download it go to the Adobe website.

Shop online

Award-Winning British Design: 1957-1988

Award-Winning British Design: 1957-1988

In 1957 the UK Design Centre launched the first annual Designs of the Year Awards to identify and promote the very best of British design. For the nex…

Buy now

The Museum of Savage Beauty

The Museum of Savage Beauty interactive web feature explores the hidden stories and craftsmanship behind some of the most remarkable objects made by Alexander McQueen and his creative collaborators. Here the designer's iconic pieces are placed alongside historical objects from the V&A’s collections, which represent some of the many design traditions that inspired him.

Explore the Museum of Savage Beauty

Event - Stitch, Bitch, Make/Perform (January 2016)

Sat 16 January 2016 14:00–17:00

PRACTICAL WORKSHOP: The Stitch Bitch, Make/ Perform meetup group is a gathering for artistic research, practice sharing, show & tell and workshops on digital fashion, soft circuits and e-textiles, wearables and DIY electronics, and related topics in art, design, research and performance.

Book online