The inaugural exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s new satellite space in Shenzhen, Values of Design takes a critical look at the relationship between design and the ideas we hold dear, considering the role of design and how our values are reflected in the objects we create. The show displays over 250 items drawn from the V&A’s archives of fashion, photography, furniture, product and theatre design, sourced from 31 countries and spanning the period from 900AD to the present. Set against the unique backdrop of a contemporary Chinese metropolis with a burgeoning design and manufacturing industry, the show aims to spark discussion around the different values – personal, economic, environmental – that inform what we make.
The exhibition is divided by theme – Performance, Cost, Problem Solving, Materials, Identity, Communication and Wonder – with juxtapositions across temporal and geographical contexts intended to inspire new perspectives on often ubiquitous items. Featured objects include a pair of 19th century silk shoes, a jumpsuit manufactured by Swedish clothing giant H&M, an open-source stool, and the ‘Fairphone‘, described by its creators as the ‘world’s first ethical modular phone’.
Main image: Sam Jacob Studio’s Values of Design exhibition in the V&A Gallery. Image by Zhang Chao courtesy ArchDaily.
Critic, curator, editor and provocateur Mimi Zeiger has written three books on tiny houses. Now, she turns to utopia: how do speculative fictions and futurisms drive architecture? Her hometown of Los Angeles is a case in point, a depository of radical dreams, be it Afro-Futurism or a promise of downtown walkability
Carine Thévenau documents and examines deserted playground relics of the Japanese 1980s financial boom (and bust). The abandoned structures create a visual silence, allowing room for curiosity and critical thought. This interval, referred to as “Ma” in Japanese philosophy, is defined as a space between, or a pause that enables space for emotion, thought and life to pass through it
Emerging technologies, data collection and the fraught relationship between apps that improve our lives yet increasingly encroach on our right to privacy. Our New York-based correspondent Janie Green talks to architect and co-designer of the GoogleUrbanism project, Nicolay Boyadjiev, about the potential for negotiating an alternative future