Heatherwick Studio Creates Surprising New Facade For London’s V&A

In honour of the new special exhibition opening today, Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary, the V&A commissioned a temporary installation surrounding the main entrance of the building.

The façade of the Victoria & Albert Museum is well-known throughout the world, but for the period of the Heatherwick exhibition, a bespoke installation graces the main entrance.  Dozens of traffic cones are painted white and suspended from an industrial framework creating the impression of rows of sharks teeth devouring visitors to the museum.  It may seem strange to use such a mundane object for an exhibition with the tagline “designing the extraordinary”, but the connotation of construction and improvement sets the stage for the exhibition inside.  Extraordinary this installation is not, but inspiring curiousity and questioning the intrinsic banality of everyday objects speaks to the core vision of Heatherwick Studio.  Within the both the central court and the garden Heatherwick designed chairs that roll a bit like a spinning top intrigue children and adults alike.
These installations are certainly an elaborate and undoubtedly an effective promotional campaign and promise an interesting exhibition of the work of the Heatherwick Studio.  Working in architecture, urban planning, furniture design, engineering and other sectors, the small, medium, and large-scale projects of the studio are innovative and inspiring.
The current major exhibition, British Design, 1948-2012: Innovation in the Modern Age, charts the development of all aspects of design from the 1948 Olympics until the 2012 Olympics.  In keeping with the theme of celebrating all things British, the Heatherwick Studio exhibition examines the remarkable contributions of the studio.  Formed in 1994, shortly after Thomas Heatherwick graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art, the studio has been a leading force of industrial design known for bringing elegance to the everyday, elevating the quotidian to the extraordinary. Words/Photo: Emily Sack © ArtLyst 2012