Interrogating the past to understand the present (and hopefully predict the future) is an admirable aim at many museums and galleries, but few manage to carry it off. But London’s Design Museum has bucked the trend with a pair of new shows which complement each other perfectly.
This is Design is a fascinating romp through the museum’s collection spanning over a century of design classics, while In Pursuit of Imperfection showcases the museum’s four designers in residence – Simon Hasan, Hye-Yeon Park, Will Shannon and Jade Folawiyo.
“There is something really powerful about celebrating classic design of the past and showing that design is very much alive and well in London,” said Deyan Sudjic, Design Museum director. “The residency programme shows our commitment to nurturing the next generation of designers.”
And the talented quartet have paid back the museum’s faith in spades with four very different takes on the brief. Will Shannon’s work challenges us to reassess chipboard, that highly-engineered but not highly-prized material which he creates using a wonderful contraption straight out of a cartoon.
Jade Folawiyo scars metal with everyday products like lemon and salt and creates gorgeous lines of lamps which are all uniquely patterned, and Simon Hasan updates the boiled leather process to question how this luxury item can be transformed into something very different.
But the standout piece is Hye-Yeon Park’s Autonomous Clock, a cheeky, playful digital clock apparently with a mind of its own which creates mesmerising random patterns and words on its display, snapping back to the correct time when it senses someone is near.
Just a few paces away, This is Design is broken down into several broad themes such as manufacturing, identity and digitilastion and illustrates the part a dizzyingly diverse array of objects played in these stories, and the overall design narrative. It’s not often you are able to see an AK-47 in the same show as the Donna Up5 chair and several takes on the iconic anglepoise lamp.
The curation is excellent – informative but not overwhelming – and the two shows work in tandem, so much so that you could spend hours bouncing between them.
- Things glorious things! The best of the postman's offerings we received this September
- Founder of It’s Nice That Will Hudson announces the launch of new venture Lecture in Progress on Kickstarter
- Dan Emmerson shoots #bikelife in the Welsh valleys
- Dive into Adam Higton's collages via his psychedelic new album and video
- Bill Baird's ephemeral online album is completely unique for every listener
- Ewen Spencer on new commission, Kick over the statues
- “Nymphomaniac” photographer Casper Sejersen's explosive images
- Trump protest pins by Sagmeister & Walsh, Hort, Olimpia Zagnoli and more
- Google and INT Works commission 19 illustrators to create over 500 works for Allo app launch
- Kalen Hollomon's collages mix sex with fortune cookies
- Logo Pizza is selling 50 ready-made logos that increase in price with each one sold
- Anja Wicki's sarcastically sweet comic illustrations