Report by Mrs Cave, Lead Textiles Teacher
The Design Faculty recently made their annual visit to London with Year 10 and Lower Sixth Product Design and Textiles pupils and students. In two days we managed visits to the British Museum, Design Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, a flight on the London Eye and a meal in Leicester Square! Thanks to the running commentary provided by our very own Mr Quinn, students were able to appreciate many famous landmarks on our journey through the capital. Miss Jolley provided some recommendations for notable artworks to view in the British Museum; Mrs Cave led the group through the costume collections of the V&A.
The Design Museum is a museum in Kensington which covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The museum, founded by Sir Terence Conran was recently relocated to Kensington in a larger site which formerly housed the Commonwealth Institute. The top-floor space under the spectacular museum roof houses a permanent display, Designer Maker User, with key objects from the museum’s collection. It is the only one in the UK devoted exclusively to contemporary design and architecture. Students had a chance to view the most recent exhibition ‘California Designing Freedom’ picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture: http://designmuseum.org/
The Victoria and Albert Museum London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Textiles students visited the Balenciaga exhibition, examining the work and legacy of influential Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with over 100 pieces crafted by ‘the master’ of couture, his protégées and contemporary fashion designers working in the same innovative tradition.
Product design students visited many galleries but notably ‘Modernism in design and architecture ‘. Modernism emerged in the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian Revolution – a period when the artistic avant-garde dreamed of a new world free from history and tradition: https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections
The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. We found a wealth of inspiration in many of the galleries and admired the imposing architectural detail within the building: http://britishmuseum.org/
The trip provided our students with valuable research material which will be used in coursework portfolios for both GCSE and A Level. We are very fortunate to have some of the world’s most important galleries and design schools in London. The UK now has the second-largest design sector in the world and the largest design industry in Europe. Good luck to our very own designers of the future, we will keep you updated with their journey!