The first John Lewis department store opened on London’s Oxford Street in 1864 and since then the retailer has sold products from washing machines to radios and clothes to kitchen utensils.
The Design Musuem exhibition will showcase more than 100 products sold by John Lewis over the past century, including works by Dieter Rams and Philippe Starck.
The show is divided into four sections. Design Archetypes tells the story of everyday objects such as sewing machines and teapots, showcasing ‘the huge amount of effort that goes into creating these deceptively simple objects’.
The Keeping House section focuses on the ‘domestic revolution’ that saw products developed to take on chores such as washing, cooking and cleaning.
Choice by Design highlights the many different decisions that a consumer makes between entering the shop and taking their chosen item to the till. The museum says, ‘Colour, shape, material and style are all considered, along with more complex notions of status and self-expression.’
Finally, the Evolution of a Product Type section uses the transformation of home audio equipment to demonstrate how changes at the cutting-edge of technology translate to consumer goods.
John Lewis: How We Live Today, is at the Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1, from 8-21 September.