The new V&A Exhibition Road Quarter in picture

Last night saw the opening of V&A Exhibition Road Quarter – the much-anticipated new addition to my favourite London gallery. The work of Amanda Levete and her architecture practice AL_A, it includes a dramatic entrance onto Exhibition Road, and an impressive courtyard that celebrates the V&A’s storied past. New spaces for exhibitions include the Sainsbury Gallery, Sackler Courtyard and Blavatnik Hall. The scheme has taken... Read More

Highlights of 2016 London Design Festival

Urban life requires a little creative navigation. We benefit from the vibrancy of the city, and experience its diverse communities. Yet city living is noisy – physically, emotionally, mentally it can be a chaotic cocktail at times. Added to this, with many of us working away from the office desk, our work/life patterns have evolved to be so much less linear than they used to be. Then there is the high price of housing in cities like London which... Read More

London celebrates design & ideology with new biennale

London is in the midst of quite a creative moment. The Design Museum is soon to open in the £83m conversion of the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, and the V&A has announced plans for a second museum of visual culture in east London’s Olympicopolis at the south end of the Olympic Park where there will also be a Sadler’s Wells and Washington DC’s Smithsonian outposts. But before all this kicks off, the city will experience... Read More

London Design Museum to relocate with new ambitions

The Design Museum has announced it will open in its new home in west London on 24 November 2016. The building in Kensington overlooks Holland Park and is the result of a £83m transformation of the 1960s listed former Commonwealth Institute building. The new space is three times the size of the current Bermondsey site. The three floors will house three galleries, a library and learning centre, two events spaces, an auditorium for talks and seminars,... Read More

Highlights of London Design Festival 2015

There is an abundance of creative energy in London. The metropolis is home to a number of leading art and design schools, and its multicultural nature offers a constant flow of influences from other worlds and cultures, bringing their collective and individual experiences from far beyond the city walls. Many cities around the world stage annual design events – most notably the Salone del Mobile in Milan. However, London also benefits from... Read More

Shubbak and creativity in the Arab world

Can the arts be harnessed to forge new identities for nations and at the same time open up dialogue on race, identity and religion? This, the power of creativity, was at the heart of Dubai Next, an interesting debate held at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London. Hosted by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and to coincide with Shubbak, the biennial festival of contemporary Arab culture in London, the initiative is reviewing the role of... Read More

Speculating the future of luxury

Pleasure, passion, innovation, exclusivity, expertise, extraordinary, investment, preciousness, opulence, non-essentials – these are some of the words that once defined luxury. Yet to understand the meaning of luxury in the future requires a further set of definitions. In speculating luxury for future generations words like authenticity, legacy, access, resource, journey, skill, memory also come to the foreground. This is the premise behind... Read More

Staying Power: Photographs of black British experience

The V&A in London is displaying over fifty recently acquired photographs exploring the experiences of black people in Britain in the latter half of the 20th century, enhanced by excerpts from oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives. Over the last seven years the museum has been acquiring photographs by black photographers and those which document the lives of black people in Britain, a previously under-represented area in the V&A’s... Read More

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre, War, Revolution, Design

It was a time of change. It was a time of hope. In those first thirty years or so of the twentieth-century the artistic world moved in tandem, and at times with the same pulse as the political movements that fought for radical change. In painting Cézanne and then Picasso and Braque changed the way we looked at surfaces, Vlaminck and Signac, in the footsteps of Van Gogh and Gauguin revolutionised, in their own individual way, our perception of... Read More

Barber & Osgerby interpret BMW design

‘Cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals; I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object,’ the philosopher Roland Barthes wrote in 1957. Earlier this week the contemporary motor car met with great religious art, with a provocative dialogue emerging between the past... Read More

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