The V&A’s Porter Gallery is, for me, the most engaging space within this behemoth of an institution, site of contemporary design exhibitions that continue to redefine the genre. Adjacent to the main entrance and information desk, it’s perfectly placed for quick-fix visits and the right size to accommodate an exhibition that is immersive but not overwhelming. The icing on the cake would be if all the groundbreaking temporary shows here could be free, so that more visitors might experience the V&A’s cutting edge of curatorship and exhibition design, without a second thought.
Visiting the current show, Memory Palace, the gallery was quiet, not empty, but not teaming like some rooms during the Bowie-Daze and while school was out. The visitors were a diverse bunch though; old, young, locals, tourists, and all very engaged. I asked a guard who confirmed; ”yes, people are reading”.
Disclaimer: If you haven’t seen the exhibition, go see it and don’t bother reading on, as these observations won’t make much sense until you’ve experienced the actual event.