• Va5

    Timber Wave

  • Va4

    Timber Wave

  • Va7

    Timber Wave

  • Va9

    Timber Wave

  • Va10

    Timber Wave

  • Va11

    Timber Wave

  • Va1

    Textile Field

  • Va3

    Textile Field

  • Va2

    Textile Field

  • Va13

    Industrial revolution 2.0

  • Va12

    Industrial revolution 2.0

  • Va14

    Industrial revolution 2.0

  • Va18

    Industrial revolution 2.0

Miscellaneous

The London Design Festival at The V&A

Posted by Rob Alderson,

As thousands flock to the city for the London Design Festival, first port of call for many will be The V&A, the festival’s traditional headquarters. That brings visitors through the venerable museum’s doors, but it also brings pressure. Luckily The V&A has smacked it out the park with some tremendous installations and projects. Both Victoria AND Albert would be proud.

Vicky Broackes, of The V&A, told It’s Nice That it is crucial that whatever is commissioned for the festival works with and enhances the museum’s many treasures.

“It is not a case of saying, ‘Here, we have got a space,’ – we look for places we can make interventions, working together with the departments and the designers to make things in response to what we have here. I think that is so important. We could do it another way but it would not be nearly as fun or as interesting. That also means people look at things they have seen hundreds of times before with new eyes.”

That process starts before visitors even enter the grand old museum, with the majestic Timber Wave a three dimensional wooden spiral which encircles the Cromwell Road entrance. Created by AL_A architects and Arup, it is vast, delicate and beautiful, playing off the ornate curved entrance it sits in front of.

Toying with the familiar is a theme that extends into The Raphael Gallery, where the Bouroullec brothers have installed Textile Field a huge, sponge platform where you can sit, lounge or romp in front of the master’s huge works on the walls. It’s fun and contemplative and will bring a smile to the face of even the most jaded gallery visitor.

A real gem comes in the form of Industrial Revolution 2.0 an exploration of 3D printing curated by Murray Moss brought to life by Belgium company Materialise. The series of pieces range from a gorgeous (and apparently wearable dress) to 14 haunting pairs of shoes arranged around the famous Bed of Ware, ghostly evocations of the socio-sexual secrets the bed broods over.

British-ish presents some of the best work from recent graduates from the University of the Arts London, while Betatank’s Scaffolding Brut explores why scaffolding continues to be so style-less. A series of sculptures explore whether they could be created in more visually-arresting ways, or whether they could become useful extras to the homeowners trapped within – “an extra balcony” as the artist puts it. So we see flower pots and bird boxes made of porcelain attached to the metal poles, and even a date night configuration complete with a vase, a champagne holder and a radio (for romantic ditties, naturally).

M&C Saatchi have curated a show called Brutal Simplicity of Thought celebrating the straightforward yet ingenious solutions mankind has dreamt up to answer some of civilised society’s most fundamental needs – expect everything from toilet signs to daylight saving time.

There’s more too; The Power of Making and Postmodernism shows, designs for pylons of the future, talks, lectures… enough. Quite simply The V&A has cemented its place as an indispensable hub for all things LDF. Only one concern – how on earth do they top that next year?

www.londondesignfestival.com

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Miscellaneous View Archive

  1. 4_500x325

    “I’ve been thinking about this forever and want a woman’s touch”…"In shape, 29 y/o, six feet tall"…"I know it sounds crazy but it’s a fantasy of mine for a woman to"… These are the most SFW snippets we can publish from a rather nuts, very rude new project by Cartelle Interactive, the people that brought us the brilliant, trippy J Dilla Donuts tribute, Dilla Dimension.

  2. Skipyoutube-int-list

    There is a world of weird and wonderful videos out there on YouTube but like most people I barely scratch the surface day-to-day. So a new project from Bertie Muller and Matthew Britton is helping address that with the aid only of a “skip” button.

  3. Dream_antoine-list-int

    Step aside Freud with your tedious dream analysis and your dirty mind, Photoshop Your Dreams is here with an altogether more entertaining alternative. 26 year-old Margaux Espinasse is web project manager based in Berlin, and she’s just set up the site, which asks readers to submit their dreams in order for her to recreate them in Photoshop.

  4. Unnamed

    As creative director of Bloomberg Businessweek Richard Turley helped revitalise the formerly staid title with his eye-catching covers and open-minded approach to lay-outs. When he moved to MTV last year many in the magazine world were sad (and surprised) to see him leave print behind. Yesterday we ran the first part of of our in-depth interview with Richard, in which he talked about his reasons for leaving BBW and what he’s been trying to achieve at MTV. In the second part today he talks about the need to shout about his new role and shares his thoughts on the respective design scenes in London and New York…

  5. Screen-shot-2015-02-10-at-14.31.20

    It was in April last year that news broke that Bloomberg Businessweek’s much-lauded creative director Richard Turley was leaving to join MTV as its first senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director. It was hailed as a huge coup for the network but surprised some that a man who’d been such a passionate, brilliant and at times iconoclastic part of the magazine renaissance was leaving the print industry behind.

  6. Exposure-bjorn-borg-int-list

    When you think of Björn Borg you think of great tennis, luxurious golden locks and really expensive underpants – or at least I do, particularly the pants. What I don’t think of is high octane online gaming, of gun-toting lovers destroying negative bad guys on screen, or of a shirtless man riding a giant bear. But then, what do I know; apparently that’s exactly what Björn Borg is all about these days.

  7. Main2

    Did you know there are 722 Emoji options? I don’t know about you but I tend to use the same five over and over, they’re like talismans of my soul (if you’re asking: rowing man, sitting monkey, balloon, yellow sun face and chick coming out of egg). There’s a new site fluttering around the internet at the moment that allows you to pick any Emoji from the astonishingly extensive menu and create your own “art” with it. Slide the small toolbar in the bottom right to enlarge the Emoji of your choice and you can make scenes you have always dreamt of. For example: farting pig rides small stripey yacht while being chased by frog heads pushed along in the current by front crawl swimmers who, in turn, are being chased by happy little piles of poop. Fun! Also a big thanks to Josh King of King Zog for pointing us towards this gem.

  8. List_nice-sale

    If your New Year’s resolutions include being sensible with your cash and owning more great creative stuff, then have we got the sale for you. Just before Christmas we went through our storeroom and decided to reduce the amount of archive stuff we keep, so for one day only this Friday we’re opening the doors of our east London studio where we’ll be selling off magazines, books and T-shirts from just £1!

  9. List

    We recently came across Scottish artist Sam Lyon who resides in Dundee and makes these jiggling, nonsensical, fleshy GIFs. The creatures channel Flubber, sea cucumbers and those floppy little rubber sausages you used to get at school. The technical skill it must take to make them is beyond me I’m afraid, so I can’t shed any light on how this is done, but what I can say is that Sam’s style has the winning formula of hilarious, addictive and brand new. Every face-crease, every stomach bulge, every wobbly bit is so over-pronounced, and moves as if it’s full of goo. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, have you? You can see the inspiration behind these little guys over on Sam’s entertaining and brilliant blog. It’s also worth saying that anyone who codes a fried egg GIF on to their cursor is post-worthy in my book.

  10. List

    Santa’s an old rogue isn’t he? What with his rosy cheeks and his big fat belly and his enslavement of innocent reindeers for commercial reasons. Still, he’s an enduring icon of Christmas whether we like it or not and as such he’s fair game when it comes to creative interpretations of the festive season. So the good people over at Joint London took old Saint Nick (the Coca-Cola version) and decided to doll him up in all manner of high fashion looks, from Alexander Wang and KENZO to Marni and Raf Simons. It’s a fun project, executed well and the site itself is lovely to scroll through. I also like that Rick Owens Santa looks like a good-time Brian Blessed…

  11. List

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but this time of year we get a fair bit of festive tat sent into the studio, which makes anything Christmas-related that is actually good stand out all the more. One of the things we actually always look forward to seeing is the Christmas card from London agency isobel, which we first feted on the site two years ago. In the past their offerings have included an homage to The Sound of Music (2007), a team of Glee-style cheerleaders (2010) and most memorably of all a tribute to the paintings of the Dutch Masters (2011), but this year they’ve plumped for something a little more monastic.

  12. Main1

    Stuff like this never gets boring. Remember that super-ancient computer program that allowed you to type something in and have the computer read it aloud? Perfect when you want a machine to tell your big brother that he smells of poop. This cool site by Thirty Labs is similar in that you get to pick what the computer says aloud to you, but different in that the words it compiles are made up of tiny snippets of films. So great to have rude, funny, or just plain boring messages read out by Darth Vader, Garth Elgar, Napoleon Dynamite and Hades from Hercules. Enjoy!

  13. Main1

    People seem to have a real problem with “life hacks” – and you can see why. Some nerd being overly smug about how he’s Sellotaped all his channel changers together isn’t exactly appealing. These guys have taken the whole “hack” craze and made a spoof website of hilarious, often disgusting hacks of their own. One entitled Raw Meat Circuitry sees a pack of mince get stuffed with LEDs and lit up, another entitled The Collaborative Fuck Bike is an easy way to exercise and pleasure your partner. As for the future, the guys behind Stupid Hackathon are plotting “3D printed masks of your own face, a Cute Poop app that makes pictures of your poop look cute and an Edible Unmanned Drone: an unmanned drone that you can eat.” Can’t wait.