V&A birthday bash to focus on design links

The Victoria & Albert Museum is to highlight its contribution to the design industry when it celebrates its 150th anniversary later this week.

The Victoria & Albert Museum is to highlight its contribution to the design industry when it celebrates its 150th anniversary later this week.

The London museum has commissioned a number of initiatives to mark the occasion, including research – carried out by independent think-tank Demos – into the V&A’s links with the creative industries.

The research, which will be published on the venue’s website, www.vam.ac.uk, from 26 June, is intended to outline its contribution to the creative economy and is expected to help strengthen its case for future funding.

‘More than 50 per cent of our audience is made up of professional designers or design students. We have fantastic resources available free of charge that are actively used by this group. The research will look at how the museum is being used and its contribution to their creative output,’ says V&A head of public affairs and director of public programmes Damien Whitmore.

In addition, a glittering array of designers, architects, photographers and artists have been invited by V&A director Mark Jones to contribute to an anniversary album.

The album, which will be bound and displayed in the museum’s entrance hall, will showcase visual expressions of how the V&A has inspired individual contributors.

Work by Rankin, Stephen Dixon (pictured), Sebastian Conran, James Dyson, Neville Brody, Jasper Morrison and Paul Smith, among others, will be viewable on-line and will also be projected on to screens at the V&A from 26 June until 14 September.

Established in 1857 with money from the 1851 Great Exhibition, the V&A was originally intended to ‘educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers’.

The museum is to host a display of the six shortlisted entries for the competition to design the British Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

Conceptual work will be shown in front of the British galleries from 26 July until 6 September.

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