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.
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