A designers’ day out

This week the design team took a well earned trip to the Capital. Reward for their efforts over an extremely successful year we thought it time to get some inspiration from The Big Smoke. We had it all planned out well in advance, Design Museum, V&A, Eleven and if we had time maybe even a dinosaur. What we hadn’t planned on was the heavy legs and weighty shoulders by the end of the day. Apparently we covered over 18,000 footsteps, (Dave, being the gadget freak that he is, had his 3DS with him counting each step around the capital). Quite an achievement we thought until Google books actually informs us this is merely an average day for the typical Amish farmer.

We got to the design museum (via Starbucks) for around 11.30am, absorbing the influence that Kenneth Grange has had modernizing Britain over the years. It was incredible to see how much one man has shaped product design over 50 years. You think of it he’s designed it. Ok, not that, but most other things. However, for us, specialising in printed material, it was actually more interesting to see the designs used to advertise these products and compare to those today. The gentleman lovingly watching his wife knock up a fetching cravat for their son was just lovely.

Venturing upstairs we took in design classics, from the mini to the iPad, motorway signage to Dyson’s new fan. It also gave us the opportunity to learn about the designers in residence where we found a guy unable to finalise the perfect stool design and another producing wondrous works in chipboard.

From here we ventured to the V&A. A brisk walk across Tower Bridge to Tower Hill station we hopped on the tube to South Kensington. Here I should point out that Bobby Mills whipped his ‘Bridge’ camera from his bag for the first time. Bridge, I understood, was a link between point and click and the more advance SLR cameras. In this case it seemed to be a camera to only use on bridges. On them, beneath them pictures of them, bridges were all he took. The V&A wasn’t really for us, the “Make it” exhibition the only real stand out display. Admittedly if you love marble sculptures you’d be in your element but having been to Florence recently I’d seen all I needed for a while. What we’ll really remember the V&A for is being disciplined for taking photos where we shouldn’t have “I’m scanning a QR code” didn’t quite cut it. Brilliant.

Clock ticking we decided to skip the T-Rex and head straight for Eleven, the highlight of the day. Ben Turnbull’s Supermen exhibition is just fantastic. Modern day heroes, portraits of 911 firefighters created from comic book collage. If you like comic books and art (stuff it; if you like anything creative), you’ll love this:

Books bought and bags full we left for Oxford Street and Covent Garden. No number galleries can ever really inspire in the way people watching, shop windows and the creative independents can. Johnny cupcakes, (great sweets by the way) and Kidrobot (thanks for the keyring) proved highlights along with the Everything exhibition in Selfridges.

Drinks, Tapas and a chance meeting with super animator Jonny Grew followed before we had to head back to Stoke on the trusty train. 8pm in October, it had in fact been dark for an hour or so but this didn’t stop Bobby asking “are we in a tunnel?” A great day was had by all, recharged and inspired with plenty of laughs it’s now time to get back to work.


One Response to A designers’ day out

  1. Rob

    Sounds like a great day.

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