Values of Design

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.

Where: V&A Gallery, 1187 Wanghai Road, Shekou, Nanshan

When: Until 4 August 2018

How much: Contact the gallery for details

More info: Design Society website


Recent Articles

  • Planet X: An Intentional Community

    The Planet X housing co-op in Sydney's Chippendale area gives members of the LGBTIQA+ community more than just stable housing. Anita Delle-Vergini speaks with Chris Ryan and Holly Zwalf about the life-changing potential of co-op living
  • Supercast: a multi-sensory experience

    In collaboration with RMIT Design Hub, Assemble Papers is excited to bring you Season 1 of our podcast, 'Supercast', exploring the sensory experience of built and unbuilt environments. Listen now at
  • On Dining Tables and Divorce

    Rectangular dining tables are pervasive in western culture. Ella Lord explores the power dynamics at play around dining tables, and speaks with two couples who have designed their own tables that reflect the non-traditional structures within their families