The other day I popped into the V&A for a quick refresher. It was a busy weekday near the end of the school holidays, and while there were queues outside the Natural History Museum and the V&A’s ground floor galleries were full of bodies, the upper floors were relatively quiet. I took the opportunity to see how the permanent display of contemporary design might have evolved since I last too a look (not sure when that was). On the V&A’s website the Design Since 1945 gallery in Room 76 (one of three rooms labelled “Modern” on the Museum Map) is described as showing art and design from the end of the Second World War to the present day; it also aims to present contemporary developments. Continue reading
I wrote this review of an exhibition at London’s Design Museum when I worked for Wordsearch, at the time was the publisher of the design magazines, Blueprint and Eye. I was a writer and assistant editor on both titles, from 1990 to 1994, and continue to contribute on a freelance basis. We also published Design Review, a magazine for members of the Chartered Society of Designers, which ran from 1991 to 1994. (For a seminal study of the CSD see Dr. Leah Armstrong’s doctoral thesis, Designing a profession: the structure, organisation and identity of the design profession in Britain, 1930-2010 available at the University of Brighton’s Grand Parade library.)
I came across this exhibition review during the long and dusty process of locating, scanning and (still hopefully) posting as complete a record of my published design journalism as I can muster; an online archive is in the works, hence the long and inexcusable lapse since my last post on this blog. I’m thinking a lot about archives right now. I’ve planned a series of visits to the Design Museum’s archive, which is currently being re-organisation, and I hope to post some gems from it in the coming months. Archiving my interaction with the museum is a priority too, as I investigate the museum’s online, digital and social media presence. I began mapping the museum’s website early on in my doctoral research; now that the museum has recently launched a new website there is a unique opportunity for assessing how changes in the museum’s offer are presented and communicated, and how the museum’s online presence might reflect and/or facilitate such changes.
This post was originally published on Eye Blog. I’m reposting it because I recently added a separate post about Fiona Raby’s talk at this conference, which provides background to the Dunne & Raby exhibition, “United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction”, reviewed here.
Five D-Crit students team up with experts to make presentations at their graduate symposium
It’s that time of year again, when a host of graduating art and design students prepare to launch themselves upon the world. The degree shows have gone up and this year’s crew are buzzing with anticipation. That’s fine if your work looks good on a wall or in a gallery. But what about the new breed of design critics on Masters courses on both sides of the Atlantic? Just how do writers make their mark?
Before hearing Fiona Raby’s talk at this Design Criticism conference in New York City, I had already visited Dunne & Raby’s new exhibition, “United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction”, staged at London’s Design Museum, but the majority of the audience hadn’t. Fiona, however, gave such an insightful explanation of the show that, thanks to my notes from the day, this account of her talk might supplement my previous post about the exhibition, here. Following this is an Archive post from Eye Blog, reporting on the conference.
Fiona describes her practice (Dunne & Raby, est. 1994 in partnership with Anthony Dunne) as dealing with emerging technologies and imagined behaviours. She defines design as “a tool for collective imagining” and designers as “making it tangible”, the aim being to broaden our worldview.