Pentagram, a design consultancy and familiar name here at It’s Nice That, has designed a new major exhibition in London for Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo. Titled The Art and Science of LifeWear: New Form Follows Function, the exhibition sees a large-scale immersive event held at the Embankment Galleries in Somerset House – running synchronously with the city’s London Design Festival and London Fashion Week.
As a collaboration with four Pentagram’s partners Jon Marshall, Yuri Suzuki, Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell, the team has worked to create a multi-disciplinary experience with an aim to showcase Uniqlo’s LifeWear concept – that is, “simple, high-quality, everyday clothing designed to be both practical and beautiful,” says a statement from the studio.
Pentagram has developed the exhibition identity, graphics, advertising, video content, exhibition design, installations, interactive experiments and sound design. Alongside modernist grid systems, this includes new iconography for the brand’s products and areas in the exhibition – all inspired by Uniqlo’s FW19 season theme of “new form follows function”.
Spanning approximately 750-square metres, the space is divided into five different zones inspired by LifeWear’s pillars: innovation, quality, value and sustainability. Starting with a graphic timeline that depicts the story of Uniqlo, visitors can discover these zones across two storeys.
The first installation comprises 192 items of Uniqlo LifeWear clothing, hung and arranged in front of a five metre-high video wall with an animation developed by Pentagram. Elsewhere in the upper galleries, visitors can meander into a six metre-long area filled with hundreds of floating strips of material, can witness five wooden tent structures covered in fabrics (such as jeans, knitwear and shirts), as well as a multi-sensory mirrored room filled with 50 hanging lamps crafts from Uniqlo socks – that of which pulsate to a musical composition created by Pentagram.
Additionally, Pentagram has created the areas in which Uniqlo’s FW19 collection will be on display, plus its graphic t-shirt collections from Dragonball Z, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. There will also be a digital installation by Rhizomatics and a pop-up store in partnership with NTS Radio that will be selling limited edition t-shirts, hosting events and workshops.
The Art and Science of LifeWear: New Form Follows Function runs from 17 – 22 September at the Embankment Galleries in Somerset House, London.