Editor’s blog

  • Festival of Britain, 60 years on
  • Neville Brody’s Anti-Design Museum
  • London Design Festival plans

With the festival season almost upon us, we can look forward to a summer of mud-spattered love-ins, while the smarter wellie-makers will be gearing up for a boost in sales.

Of course, for some it has already started, with the ongoing Festival of Britain 60th anniversary bash in full swing at London’s Southbank Centre. The highspot of this look set to be the Vintage extravaganza being staged by Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway at the end of July, building on the success the duo had with Vintage at Goodwood last year – especially as it will include a performing arts feature masterminded independently by Design Week’s own Tom Banks and Emily Gosling.

Levete is transforming the entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum with a 3D lattice work, Spiral (pictured), created in conjunction with the American Hardwood Council.
Amanda Levete is transforming the entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum with a 3D lattice work, Spiral (pictured), created in conjunction with the American Hardwood Council.

But the banks of the River Thames are set to host a very different kind of show as autumn sets in. As part of the all-embracing London Design Festival, Neville Brody and his collaborators have been invited to explore the notion of an anti-design museum at the Design Museum in Shad Thames.

Brody was only approached a couple of week’s ago, so details are sketchy, but, with sound specialist Cecilia Wee as the main curator,  the three-day event will build on the themes that ran through last year’s Anti-Design Festival. It will infilratrate the museum, Brody says, and include talks and workshops – very hands on, as before . The line up too is likely to be familiar with the likes of Jon Wozencroft and Adrian Shaughnessy to make an appearance.

Textile Field installation by the Bouroullec Brothers, with Kvadrat
Textile Field installation by the Bouroullec Brothers, with Kvadrat

How Brody and the gang portray an anti-design museum remains to be seen, but it was something that, coinincidentally, Sir Christopher Frayling alluded to at the Meeting of Minds debate last week, when he and Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic discussed how designers can keep their cultural and creative integrity while meeting the commercial needs of clients.

Frayling cited the Victorian House of Horrors show of bad design, which prompted serious debate – and a number of rows – within the profession. He also mentioned Stephen Bayley’s Taste show at the Boilerhouse Project, the forerunner of the Design Museum housed within the Victoria & Albert Museum , which saw objects representing bad taste in Bayley’s estimation set on dustbins.

Creative for last year's ADF
Creative for last year’s ADF

Whatever Brody’s team come up with, we might expect a fairly gutsy, homespun interpretation, given that design’s super curator Daniel Charny will again be involved, having brought experiemental delights such as Dominic Wilcox and Jerszy Seymour to the ADF.

Charny, meanwhile, looks set to also be a star of the main LDF, with his exhibition, The Power of Making showing at the V&A, the festival hub. What better place for a making show than in a museum devoted to artefacts.

The whole making thing is coming home to roost, with other elements of the LDF set to focus more on materials and process then on slick, finished design. Even beautifully crafted installations such as the Bouroullec Brothers’ 30m-long Textile Field installation in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery, comprising Kvadrat textile tiles, promise a textural experience.

So, enjoy a summer of love, but prepare to get stuck into some challenging designs in the autumn.

Vintage runs at London’s Southbank Centre, London  from 29-31 July.

The Anti-Design Museum will be at the Design Museum, Shad Thames London from 16-18 September.

The Power of Making runs at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW8 from 6 September.

The London Design Festival runs from 17-25 September.

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