Thursday, 7 June 2012

Spontaneous Repetition...

Last week saw the launch of the long overdue retrospective of work by Thomas Heatherwick at the V&A.

After completing an MA at the Royal College of Art, Heatherwick set-up the studio in 1994 as a space to explore all creative mediums from architecture and furniture design, to engineering and urban regeneration. His exploration of structures and surfaces using controlled repetition, as well as the creative spontaneity of an idea through materials, adds balance and a strong thought process.

Tucked away in The Porter Gallery, it felt like a more discreet offering than some of the other exhibitions at the V&A, but certainly didn't detract from the sheer scale, and confidence of some of the pieces on show.
What was really lovely about the exhibition was the emphasis on the 'studio'. The designs might be big and bold, but Heatherwick's ego certainly wasn't evident, as the range of works were all presented as collaborative projects.
At the entrance, visitors are invited to 'produce' their own guide by cranking a large handle which operates a huge engineered reel of paper, unravelling each section to a very satisfying 'tear here' perforation.
The exhibit weaves through the space, tracing the work and thought processes involved, all neatly stacked to make the most of the ceiling height of the gallery. Classic telephone receivers are dotted through the space with interview snap-shots adding another layer, with each area playing with scale and proportion just as much as the work itself.

The exhibition gives an intriguing and intimate insight into one of the country's design pioneers and someone well worth celebrating, the best of British...

Heatherwick Studio - Designing The Extraodinary is on at the V&A until 30th September...

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