I’m always interested by the paradox which means that small exhibitions are often the most impactful, and the new show at the Design Museum, entitled Time Machines: Daniel Weil and the Art of Design is a prime example. Though it occupies a relatively small space, tucked in on the top floor next to the expansive Designs of the Year show, it seems to catalogue Daniel’s original approach to design perfectly.His new series of clocks demand attention first; finely made with all of their parts exposed, they maintain the dematerialisation that he first established with his Bag Radios, exploring new means of conductivity, but they seem to have progressed to a more finely-tuned, beautiful state.
Running through the centre of the exhibition is the thread that ties it all together; his drawings. Having used only one kind of sketchbook (a hard-bound black Bushey style since 1980) Daniel has provided 62 from an archive of 309 for the show, with each open to a page which elucidates his honest, accessible practice even further. In a show which champions, above all else, designing products to offer “a method of ‘critical design’ to deal with accelerating rates of change,” this transparency pulls everything together. To be able to trace the progress of these ideas for the first seed in a scruffy sketch to the final piece in a wall display, is intensely satisfying.
Time Machines: Daniel Weil and the Art of Design will be on display at the Design Museum until 25 August 2014.