We are now at full speed for the delivery phase!
As the Shekou project director, I am very pleased to say that the core Shekou team is now in place steering up V&A expertise to deliver the project.
Since the groundbreaking ceremony, Brendan Cormier joined the V&A Furniture, Textile and Fashion department led by Christopher Wilk. As lead curator of 20th and 21st Century Design, Brendan is working on the development of the V&A Gallery at the Shekou Design Museum. He is supported by Sunny Cheung, assistant curator. Alexandra Willett is also a great addition to the team bringing her exhibition and project management expertise on board as the Shekou project manager. Luisa Mengoni has now moved to Shenzhen where she has relocated from the V&A for the coming years as Head of V&A Gallery, Shekou. It is great to now have a representative on the ground! We are all working very closely with colleagues from across the V&A and with our partner in China.
On October 20 and 21, we hosted in London a two-day building workshop. We welcomed our colleagues from China Merchants Group: Mr Zhang Dawei who leads on the construction of the new museum complex, his assistant Ms Chen Lu, Ms Rong Zhao (project manager for the new museum), Ms Fu Kecheng (professor in Architecture at the Shanghai University) and the Chinese architect Mr Luo Bing. Representatives from Maki and Associates also came from Japan: Mr Tatsutomo Hasegawa (project architect) and Ms Yasuko Okuyama (architect). Numerous colleagues from Conservation, Technical services, Exhibitions, Design, Security, Registrar office also took part in these two very productive days enabling the collaboration to reach a new stage.
Enthusiasm is very high and numerous ideas are emerging. The diversity of the people involved in China, Japan and the U.K is for me one of the most exciting aspects of this project. In the core team only we have 5 different nationalities represented and several colleagues who – like me – have worked in various countries. Finding ways to understand each other despite the cultural differences and managing to reach a common operational ground is a fantastic challenge which so far seems to go down smoothly. The desire to set up this new design museum at this pivotal time in China is a shared purpose which unites and motives us all. A truly collective and cross-cultural adventure!