News / Miscellaneous

V&A acquires the burkini, the Refugee Olympic flag and a Vote Leave leaflet for its permanent collection

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Victoria and Albert Museum: Refugee Olympic flag installation

The V&A Museum in London has acquired five new contemporary objects that reflect the events of the past 12 months through its Rapid Response Collecting programme. “The gallery explores how current global events, political changes and pop cultural phenomena impact, or are influenced by, design, art, architecture and technology,” says the institution.

The new artefacts, that went on display last weekend, include a burkini, a flag designed for the first ever refugee team to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games, a Vote Leave campaign leaflet distributed in the run-up to the UK’s EU referendum, cyclist Bradley Wiggins’ handlebars used to break the hour record, and a ceramic tile designed by Grayson Perry for the exterior of his House for Essex building.

Corinna Gardner, acting keeper of the V&A’s Design, Architecture and Digital Department, said: “Design is a mirror to society. The objects that the V&A collects through its Rapid Response Collecting programme are evidence of social, political, technological and economic change and therefore mean more than their material value. These objects have become newsworthy because they advance what design can do, or because they reveal truths about how we live today and how we might live tomorrow. Rapid Response is a permanent legacy of objects to help future visitors and researchers make sense of the world we live in today.”

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Victoria and Albert Museum: Refugee Olympic flag

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Victoria and Albert Museum: Ahiida burkini installation