London’s Design Museum invited us to be broadcast partners for their 2014 Designers In Residence programme – one of the foremost schemes promoting and supporting new design talent in the UK.
We conceived and produced a series of five videos for the final exhibition which were shown on permanent loop in one of the museum’s main gallery spaces. Alongside this we ran a series of profiles about the four chosen designers and the scheme in general, and an in-depth review of the exhibition. We also programmed and hosted two special events at the museum during the course of the show.
One of the UK’s most important competitions for young designers is now open for applications – and entrants are being challenged to shake things up for 2014.
We announced back in January that we are proud to be partnering with the Design Museum for its annual Designers in Residence programme. Now in its seventh year, the initiative showcases the work of four new and emerging designers and the theme set this year was disruption. Applicants have now been whittled down to the final four and it gives us great pleasure to exclusively introduce the Designers in Residence 2014, four eclectic creatives sure to each bring something very different to this year’s exhibition which opens on 10 September.James is an architectural designer whose work spans interior design, urbanism, architecture, objects and interactions. He often uses humour as a means to exploring socio-political themes, as evidenced in his Royal College of Art masters project Free[tr]aid_. This imagined a future where a cash-strapped UK had to privatise its international aid programme, leading to an Indian Aid Earning zone in north London. James also worked with aberrant architecture on its terrific tiny mobile theatre which was inspired by one of London’s most unusual entertainment impresarios.
www.jameschristian.co.uk and filmmaker Ilona is another RCA gradate who uses image, rhetoric and cinematic tropes to construct schemes and texts that investigate hypothetical situations. We featured Ilona’s Under Black Carpets project last year, an ongoing exploration into the perfect bank heist on which she is collaborating with the FBI and the Los Angeles police. Her other work includes a examination of legal issues which could arise from increased future space travel and a filmic depiction of a future where experiencing nature becomes the preserve of the rich and powerful.
www.ilonagaynor.co.ukFuture/Torsten is a designer whose holistic approach combines his experiences in architecture and product design to create objects which are both aesthetically beguiling and challenge some of our preconceived notions about materials and making. He’s got a range of international influences having studied in Bath, Florence and Copenhagen and exhibited at this year’s Salone in Milan earning rave reviews in the process.
www.torstensherwood.com multi-award-winning Studio PSK specialises in “object driven speculative design,” using design as a “medium to ask questions rather than provide answers.” Drawing on its multidisciplinary skills and working with a network of specialist collaborators, Studio PSK explores the shifting worlds of science, technology and society. Previous work has included an exploration of whether the parasite’s work in nature can be applied to a technological context and hand crafting a particle accelerator.
Next week one of the UK’s major exhibitions of young creative talent opens at London’s Design Museum. Designers in Residence selects four emerging design stars and works with them over a period of several months to explore a certain theme, which this year is the overused but often misunderstood idea of disruption.
It seems fitting that the Design Museum’s Designers In Residence show has opened just days before London Design Festival kicks off. LDF is often derided – unfairly but loudly – as a celebration of design vacuousness, of shinier shelves and more ergonomic chairs. This year’s DiR exhibition is a celebration of design’s power, an exploration of how it can improve some of society’s fundamental building blocks – housing, play, money and the law.
Of all the designers involved in this year’s Design Museum Designers In Residence, Ilona Gaynor is arguably the most complex to engage with. Her work is often defined and described by what it isn’t rather than what it is, and she herself told us in an interview that she hoped visitors wouldn’t be disappointed “about not seeing a chair on a plinth” when they went to the show.
One of the best things about this year’s Designers in Residence is that it takes big ideas and makes them accessible to the gallery-going public. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Torsten Sherwood’s work, which looks at disrupting traditional patterns of play with a new kind of interlocking building block that reimagines the basic functions of LEGO. Not only can you see how Tortsen’s ideas developed at the show, you can also have a go yourself which adds a fantastically fun element to proceedings.
James Christian’s work tackles arguably the biggest issue facing London as a city – housing. Responding to disruption – this year’s Designers In Residence theme – James has looked back at slum housing from London’s history to see what modern planners and architects can learn from the way they operated.
The final of the Design’s Museum’s four Designers in Residence for 2014 is Patrick Stevenson-Keating. From its base in south-east London, Patrick’s collaborative design group Studio PSK works “on the changing landscapes within technology, design, science and society.” His work for the Designers in Residence exhibition rethinks our relationship with money, and in particular how we might address the fundamental disconnection from financial transactions we suffer in the digital era.
Disruption is a term that has a checkered recent history, but there’s no denying is a powerful cultural concept. When Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic chose it as the theme for this year’s Designers in Residence, he was at pains to point out it’s an idea that has come to be misunderstood. Now as part of our broadcast partnership with the exhibition, we’re hosting an evening of talks featuring creatives whose work is built on some form of disruption.