As a product designer by trade my studies touched on both sides of the fence; from art history to pure maths. Some would say that means I’m a little bit muddled, but I argue that I can appreciate both the advanced engineering of Concord and the flowing aesthetic of an E-type – or perhaps it’s the other way round?
The exhibition was a high speed tour of fashion, images and products over sixty years of British design. Not surprisingly there wasn’t much in the way of medical device design the closest was the reflection of the 90’s summed up by elements from Damien Hirst’s restaurant-cum-art installation ‘Pharmacy’. They could have mentioned the Everest and Jennings folding wheel chair or even Alexander Flemings ‘Penicillin’, but then not many people see these things as great consumer designs, something I totally disagree with – perhaps I’ll investigate that further another time.
Overall the exhibition was interesting and attractive. It touched on eras where there had been so much development and change that it was never going to do justice to all of the topics, but it did give a good sense of the many different facets of British design.
I spent the rest of the day wondering the other halls and rooms of the V&A, which promotes itself as “the world’s greatest museum of art and design” and it’s not far wrong. If you have never been to the V&A its well worth a day out!
The Victoria and Albert Museum is located at Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL