Friday, 23 October 2009

London Design Museum

Recently I went to London to visit the Design Museum, where two exhibitions were on display, Super Contemporary and Mariscal Drawing Life. I particularly enjoyed the Super Contemporary exhibition, which consisted of 15 commissions from some of London’s current and future designers. Designers included Paul Smith, Ron Arad and Thomas Heatherwick, with works that try to capture the spirit of London design, past, present and future. It was all set out in a huge time-line that ran around the edge of the exhibition space tying all the pieces together and sorting them into chronological order, which I thought was a nice touch. Pieces in-particular that I liked where Airside’s personal map of London. I have been a fan of Airside’s work for a while and it was interesting to see a more personal design from the company. They took the map added their own ‘Airside’ flair, with quirky characters and cute animals, but still left it fairly recognizable as a map of London.

Also on show was Mariscal Drawing Life, the first UK retrospective of Spanish artist and designer Javier Mariscal. His work I found interesting as it was so diverse and span many different areas of design, from furniture and interiors to corporate branding to quirky cartoons. Several examples of his work were on display such as a full size cardboard mopeds, a sculpture consisting of office chairs, illustrations on paper bags, cartoons and many others. A main focus was on ‘Cobi’ the official Olympic mascot of the Barcelona games which feature in many places around the exhibition. A piece that I found particularity interesting were the mural on the exterior of the Design Museum that also featured as a sculpture in the exhibition. The bright, bold colours made the piece visually appealing with each individual letter differing from the others, I thought this was a good example of Mariscal’s unique ’signature’ style.

And finally on the way I saw a piece of design that I have been a fan of for a long time, ‘OBEY the Giant’. Whilst sat on the coach traveling home I spotted it pasted to the side of a building. I have long been a fan of Shepard Fairey and OBEY the Giant is by far one of his most famous works, pasted in cities all over the world it has become legendary. The manifesto of OBEY by Shepard Fairey can be found here. I enjoy Fairey’s use of vector stylized graphics, making it instantly recognizable, and have often used it as inspiration and will continue to do so. All in all I found the trip to be very constructive and it was good to see other works that I may not of seen other wise.

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