Archives for technology

Victoria and Albert Museum Celebrate the Legacy of Plywood

PLYWOOD is a versatile material with unique qualities which offers designers infinite possibilities for creativity. When steamed, curved and moulded plywood can be manipulated into curvaceous architectural forms or laser cut using the latest technology to create intricate lace-like tracery. Even plywood scraps can be re-purposed to make eco-friendly furniture pieces.

In celebration of this remarkable material, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London mounts Plywood: Material of the Modern World, a new exhibition which highlights the significance of plywood design this summer. Iconic designs of the twentieth century relating to architecture, furniture making and transport feature throughout the displays and bring to light the ground-breaking advances in plywood manufacture which include 19th century rotary cutting and the pioneering moulding techniques of the 1930s. Christopher Wilk, exhibition co-curator and Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A, said, “Plywood is such a common, everyday material that most people barely notice when it is used. One could say that it has been hidden in plain sight.”

Victoria and Albert Museum, plywood, design, exhibition

Moulded plywood chair designed by Grete Jalk, 1963. Photograph courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

On display will be well-known furniture pieces by Alvar Aalto, Robin Day, Charles and Ray Eames and Grete Jalk, working drawings and a fascinating array of transport designs which include a plywood canoe, a 1960s racing car with a plywood chassis and a number of vintage skateboards.

Victoria and Albert Museum, plywood, design, exhibitionDrawing of Alvar Aalto designed Finnish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939-‘40.
Courtesy of Alvar Aalto Museum

An intriguing cluster of sculptural forms designed by Canadian-based company, Patkau Architects will be exhibited outside in the V and A’s John Madejski Garden. Cleverly constructed to withstand freezing temperatures, these plywood ice-skating shelters float on the frozen Winnipeg River and provide a welcome respite from the biting wind. Fixed to a timber frame, their flexible plywood sheets sway and creak with the elements.

Victoria and Albert Museum, plywood, design, exhibitionPatkau Architects, Ice skating shelters, Winnipeg, 2012, Courtesy of Patkau Architects

 

by Miranda Charalambous

Plywood: Material of the Modern World, sponsored by Made.com and supported by the American Friends of the V&A (AFV&A) opens from July 15 – 12 November 12, 2017 in the Porter Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Email: contact@vam.ac.uk

Front page image: Patkau Architects, Ice skating shelters, Winnipeg, 2012, Courtesy of Patkau Architects

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink Floyd Exhibition at the V&A Announced

THE Victoria and Albert Museum will mount a sensational new show celebrating the phenomenal success of ‘60s psychedelic rock band, Pink Floyd,  next year. The exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the band’s debut single, Arnold Layne, and comprises a spectacular laser light-show, unseen concert footage and a host of band memorabilia.

Pink Floyd Pink Floyd 1971 Belsize Park © Pink Floyd Music Ltd

Curated by Victoria Broackes in collaboration with surviving band members and entertainment architects, Stufish the show recreates designs from the band’s spectacular sets and album covers which include The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and The Division Bell. The exhibition highlights Pink Floyd’s pioneering approach in both sound and vision defined by Museum Director, Martin Roth as “an impressive and enduring British design story of creative success”.

floyd 1 600x400Pink Floyd. Photograph: Storm Thorgerson © Pink Floyd Music Ltd

Following the success of the V&A’s  show, David Bowie Is, this exhibition offers fans the opportunity to take part in an immersive sonic experience utilising cutting-edge museum technology by audio specialist, Sennheiser to recreate an psychedelic scene of the 60s. The show displays artefacts from the Museum’s extensive performance collections and also from band members comprising original album covers designed by Hipgnosis, Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Storm Thorgerson, posters, handwritten lyrics and not least, Pink Floyd’s instruments including their vintage Azimuth Co-ordinator, the first panning control for sound systems.

Attending the announcement of the exhibition, Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason said, “I did think we’d be short of material. That’s turned out to be entirely incorrect. I can’t tell you how much stuff won’t fit in.”

floyd 2 600x400Pink Floyd 1994 Division Bell publicity shot – Credit Albert Wilson © Pink Floyd Archive

by Miranda Charalambous

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains runs from May 13 – October 1, 2017 at Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2R
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2000
Email: contact@vam.ac.uk

Front page image: Pink Floyd 1971 Belsize Park © Pink Floyd Music Ltd

The exhibition is promoted by Michael Cohl of Iconic Entertainment Studios

V&A Museum Presents Engineering Season – Robots Build a Pavilion

V&A presents Engineering Season – the first of its kind celebrating and exploring the engineering efforts that influence our everyday lives. The programme consists of displays, events and interactive installations – and visitors can watch a Kuka robot build new cells of the pavilion as it happens in real time – and will underline the importance of technological advances and its designers who are a major force, working behind the scenes on creating the environment that surrounds us all.

pavilionElytra Filament Pavilion, render, V&A John Madejski Garden 2016;
© ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart; Image courtesy of V&A

The installation created by Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer  – the Elytra Filament Pavilion – will be the opening the showcase. A canopy located in V&A’s John Madejski Garden will be a live structure that considers the influence of new robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making.

The nature-inspired construction is made up of tightly-woven carbon fibre cells created using a novel robotic production process. Additionally, the fibres will carry real-time sensors capturing data from its surroundings and adapting the construction accordingly – by adding new fibre cells – live and acting as an environmental filter.

penguin poolPenguin Pool, London Zoo;  London, 1934; © ZSL; Image courtesy of V&A

Another highlight of the show will be a retrospective of the work of Ove Arup: Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design, which will shine a new light on the most influential engineer of the 20th century. Ove was a prolific creator who applied his training and interest in philosophy to natural flair for combining different disciplines in a pursue of his grand idea of a Total Design.

The work of the British-Danish engineer Arup defined his era and those to come and the showcase will present that influence through previously unseen prototypes, models, archival materials, drawings, film and photography, as well as a host of new immersive digital displays featuring animations, simulations and virtual reality.

The visitors will be immersed in his design and engineering legacy transpiring through Ove’s awe-inspiring writings and projects including Penguin Pool at London Zoo, Sydney Opera House, Centre Pompidou in Paris and other significant buildings, such as Crossrail, across the world.

syndey operaSydney Opera House © David Messent; Image courtesy of V&A

Additionally, a display entitled Mind over Matter will feature leading innovative engineering projects from around the world by British engineering firms such as AKT II, Atelier One, Buro Happold, Expedition Engineering and Jane Wernick Associates. Other activities in the V&A Engineering Season will include an Exhibition Road Engineering Residency supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, a themed Friday Late, a series of lectures, talks and gallery tours, as well as a Symposium about biomimicry, design and engineering with a keynote lecture by Achim Menges.

by Magda Pirowska

The exhibition Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design runs from  June 18 –  November 6, 2016. Tickets will go on sale in April 2016. Admission £7 (concessions available). V&A Members go free. Advance booking is advised – this can be done in person, online vam.ac.uk/EngineeringSeason; or by calling 0800 912 6961 (booking fee applies).
This exhibition is made possible with the cooperation of Arup.
The Elytra Filament Pavilion will be on display in the John Madejski Garden from May 18  – November 6, 2016. Admission is free.