Supporting contemporary artists, designers and makers has always been at the heart of the V&A’s mission. Our Residency Programme enables creative practitioners to gain unique access to the Museum’s collections, archives and curatorial expertise, providing them with a studio on-site, a bursary and a production budget to experiment, create a new body of work and engage with the public.
Ever wondered what it’s like inside an artist’s studio, where designers or architects get their great ideas from, or how makers produce their final piece? We regularly host Open Studio sessions where you can meet our current residents and discover more about their practice.
Click the current residents' Open Studio links below for more information.
muf architecture/art: V&A Research Institute (VARI) Embedded Residency
May 2016 – May 2017
Generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
muf architecture/art has established a reputation for pioneering and innovative projects for public spaces, buildings and landscapes. All of their commissions are expanded with often unsolicited (by the client) research, expanding a brief with the knowledge, desires and experience of varied constituencies.
As part of the V&A’s Research Institute (VARI), the Museum has invited Liza Fior and Katherine Clarke for a yearlong research residency to imagine how to make research visible and to critically rethink ways to encounter the collections at V&A East, the new V&A outpost in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The Museum is in many ways an idealised public space - dry, clean, rich with detail and with its own bylaws. A place where you can be all day without question as long as you only touch when invited to do so.
During our residency, we wish to make the most of our “governess” status (as neither staff nor visitor) and the freedom that this gives. We will work with V&A staff drawing on their expertise and knowledge of the collection along with small groups of visitors to think about the new building and the way it meets its context as a place of making, thinking, meeting and solace.
Julian Melchiorri: Exhibition Road Engineering Resident
April 2016 – April 2017
Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund
Julian Melchiorri is a design engineer, biotechnologist and entrepreneur based in London. Internationally known for his visionary 'synthetic leaf' projects, Melchiorri proposes radical environmental solutions for urban and industrial settings through an innovative exploitation of biological microorganisms and materials to convert waste and pollution into valuable resources.
Given the V&A’s pioneering vision to showcase manufacturing and engineering innovations, and in conjunction with the 2016 Engineering Season at the V&A, my plan for this residency is to explore how the latest advancements in biotechnology and engineering can be applied to everyday objects and architecture in order to increase the quality of our lives.
Helmut Völter: V&A Goethe Photography Resident
April 2016 – September 2016
In collaboration with the Goethe-Institut London
Helmut Völter is a graphic designer and artist from Berlin. In his work, he combines research with the authorship and design of books and exhibitions. His interest lies on the role of photographic images within history, media, art and science. The double character of scientific images as rational evidence and aesthetic objects often form the starting point of his work.
During the residency, I want to develop a series of displays about the diversity of ways to look at a photograph. The displays will be centred around a photograph from the V&A collection, which is set into a 'constellation'—a combination with other images and objects that highlight and comment different aspects of the photograph in the centre.
Pauliina Pöllänen: V&A Finnish Institute in London Ceramics Resident
4 April – 30 September 2016
In collaboration with the Finnish Institute in London
Pauliina Pöllänen architectural ceramic works play on our constructed surroundings and understanding of the world around us, outlining organic shapes with a more intimate object scale. Often engaging the negative space of an object’s form, Pöllänen creates imaginary and complex dimensions within her sculptures by playing with existing perceptions of these forms.
The V&A is the ideal place to carry out my research because of access to the physical history of the Arts and Crafts movement. I see many parallelisms between the development of the Arts and Craft movement and the emergence of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, and I am interested in exploring how Modernism’s obsession with materiality stems from those movements.
With an exciting and ever-changing programme of artists and designers, there’s never a dull moment in our residency studios. Here we show the process of being an artist- or designer-in-residence here at the V&A, with behind-the-scenes insights and stories from our current residents.
How to apply for a residency
We issue open calls for residency applications twice a year, usually in the Spring and Autumn. For each open call, we define a particular area of the collections or a specific theme or medium we would like the resident to explore.
Open calls for applications can be found on our Jobs site.
Since its establishment in 2008 the Residency Programme has hosted a vast range of artists and designers. Discover more about our past residents, their research, projects and public programmes in the Museum.