V&A Museum of Childhood reveals exhibition on board games

Thomas.Matthews has designed the exhibition, which explores the social, physical and historical relevance of board games.


Thomas.Matthews has designed the V&A Museum of Childhood’s autumn exhibition, looking at board games and their social, physical and historical perspectives, including how they can be considered works of art and design, or tools for education.

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered, features exhibits ranging from the strategy and structure of gameplay, to historic items such as Game of Goose.

Inspired by the several racing games featured within the exhibition, Thomas.Matthews opted to base the design around a giant game board which visitors can “play” as they move through the space, giving a sense of chronology to the exhibition.

Visual language references classic board games

The visual language incorporated into the exhibition also nods to traditional board game designs, using bold colours, simple geometric shapes, oversized numerical markers and colourful cube-shaped grids, which act as plinths for game artefacts and break up the rest of the space.

Creative director at Thomas.Matthews, Leah Harrison, says: ““This project has been a wonderful combination of fun and hard work and I think it really shows.”

“Ensuring that the design for the exhibition communicates a sense of play and fun while showing artefacts at their best was paramount for us.”

Flexible exhibition components

As the exhibition will also tour to another four venues, another key design consideration was for the exhibition components to be easy to take down and put back up again.

The design team again took inspiration from board games – which are typically easy to put away and transport – using lightweight, large format canvas frames.

Thomas.Matthews also worked with production houses LTD and Qwerk to ensure as little waste as possible, for instance by using the waste from cutting the frames of the canvas panels to create the text panels seen throughout the exhibition.

Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered runs at the V&A Museum of Childhood until 23 April 2017. Entry to the exhibition is free. For more information, head here.

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