It’s time to set up a framework for debate

I was very impressed with Fay Sweet’s Private View (DW 22 March) Her sentiments very much match my own and those of several of my colleagues. Too often the spectator/visitor is disenfranchised by the material presented, and there is no sense of dialogue.

Exhibitions do create the opportunity to give a very complete understanding of a subject. To the extent that the designer can fulfil that purpose, the project brief needs to be clear, thus providing the designer with an intellectual framework within which he or she can argue for the right “intellectual emphasis” and “educative process”, and thus design with integrity.

It is my experience that an arrogance leading to condescension pervades almost all public exhibition design endeavour, aided and abetted by budget and expediency. If we are not alert, in the case of the up-and-coming Millennium exhibition this will be compounded by a jingoistic self-regard by our national corporations/sponsors.

An overall theme framework needs to be debated. I welcome your article as the first step in that debate.

Ian Fogden

Ian Fogden Design

London SW1

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