Cultural day out of the office
A warm and gentle breeze took me out of the office on Tuesday, allowing me some cultural inspiration across the city. Over two years ago, paths transported me to London. More than anywhere else, walking has been my favourite way to get to know the city, get my bearings. It permits a slow but deep and attentive exploration. Thus, I did start that day making my way towards the new recently opened Design Museum, alternating buses and walking. I haven’t been through its doors since it moved to Kensington – exciting! I caught sight of the building from Holland Way, making the most of the clear blue sky.
My first steps in the Museum left me stunned by the architecture. It looks like different layers under several roofs. After a quick overview of the inside, I went towards the exhibition ‘Fear & Love’, dealing with the way we designers are concerned about the impact of our work on the planet. As I learn, there’s no simple solution to this and this exhibition challenged my perception of design and my work in general. Between all the projects exhibited here, ‘The Earth’ from Ma Ke is the one that shook me up the most. In the room, the subdued lighting and the soil on the floor create a contrast with the mannequin standing on its own in the middle, wearing a very long and oversized white robe made of what seemed to be recycled fabrics. Ma Ke was the most successful fashion designer in China when she stopped producing commercial clothing, 10 years ago. She reconnected herself to rural traditions rejecting hyper-consumption. Brilliant! With that done, I spent some time losing myself in the upper floors before starting my way towards Chelsea.
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As the Saatchi Gallery was closed, I decided to head to the Science Museum where there’s one thing I’ve been looking forward to see for a long time! The Winton Gallery. This new gallery designed by Zaha Hadid Architects features an exhibition about mathematics, its power to shape our world throughout history. As soon as I stepped into the room, I felt transported into space. The hanging plane and large purple symmetrical structure above it bowled me over! ‘Mathematics’ also features archives, old computers and other measuring instruments (astronomical clocks, telescopes…) – a must see!
Since I was very close to my favourite museum in London, the Victoria & Albert Museum, I decided to have a look at their temporary exhibition in the Porter Gallery (the thing I always do when I visit V&A). These days, the gallery highlights Lockwood Kipling’s work and collection. Kipling made his way through the Arts and Crafts movement working as an architect of the V&A (previously the South Kensington Museum) until he moved to teach in India. He was fascinated by Buddhist sculptures and by collecting them, he contributed to conserve these antiquities now recognised in this unique world collection. Discovering his years of work and collection along with the Buddhist music that was playing greatly inspired me a lot and left me even more attracted by India.
The last exhibition on my list was ‘Transcending Boundaries’ taking place at the Pace Gallery in Mayfair. Although it was fully booked online, I still decided to give it a try. The exhibition features immersive installations and that’s something I’m always very curious and excited about. Unfortunately, the access was without success that day. It is on until the 11th March so I shall give it another try later!
Although I couldn’t achieve all that I planned on that day, I managed to fulfil my exploration across the city discovering innovative concepts of design throughout brilliant exhibitions. One more cultural day to keep me inspired!