As the Festival hub - the first point of call for Festival visitors and a place to see inspiring installations and displays - the V&A housed a broad range of special installations and displays, as well as a huge programme of talks, tours, VR experiences, workshops and a podcast booth, which ran from 15 – 23 September 2018. A partial road closure allowed for activations to take place on the road itself, which opened new audiences to Exhibition Road partners and increased general footfall to the area.
Bringing together events by the Brompton Design District, the Design Museum, Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A, this fun-filled day of design, workshops and talks offered something for everyone, and celebrated the best in contemporary design with Albertopolis neighbours. Activities and events took place both on Exhibition Road and in the V&A, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Imperial College London creating a spirit of community and cohesion with neighbouring venues.
Elsewhere in the area events included:
V&A: MultiPly street furniture which explores sustainable, innovative and reusable construction methods and materials. Created from a basic kit of panels, and made from sustainable American tulipwood, the structure is modulable. Street furniture is constructed using the same kit of panels and connectors demonstrating how the kit of parts can be re-used and repurposed.
V&A - a weekend of free events exploring Artificial Intelligence, human-machine interaction and potential future worlds. Creative workshops exploring AI, machine learning, making bots and driverless cars and leading practitioners in talks about AI, design, bias and ethics.
Brompton Design District: The Pod, brought to Exhibition Road by Brompton Design District and Thought Starters, was a self-contained, fully functional recording studio. Visitors were invited to come and see podcast making in action and take part! There was also an opportunity to explore the final day of Brompton Design District’s Material Consequences programme, which focused on design projects that question and rethink attitudes to materials and waste, and the shift to a circular economy.
Imperial College London: Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering has become a hotbed of ideas since its 2015 launch and over the weekend the doors were opened for the first time: from new fashion technology, robotic dragonflies, and encounters with an artificial intelligence, a chance to play with the latest prototypes and meet the innovators hoping to revolutionise the way we go about our lives.
Science Museum: Design and Engineering Great Object Hunt: a trail inside the Science Museum to follow your curiosity, exploring the amazing objects in their galleries. Visitors were invited to think and talk about how design and engineering shape our lives!
Natural History Museum: A chance to step into the darkness and be transported to the depths of the ocean where the dazzling lights of bioluminescent creatures dance all around. This experience was developed by Jason Bruges Studio for the Natural History Museum’s Life in the Dark exhibition.Visitors also got hands-on with specimens, explored cutting-edge technology and discovered the Wildlife Garden through the lens of a My Naturewatch camera.
The event was a great successful – despite strong wind and torrential rain in the morning which meant activities had to be moved indoors. Once the sun came out in the afternoon, the activities were brought back out in to Exhibition Road and the road was buzzing with visitors. There was a considerable in increase in visitors crossing between venues so this was a wonderful opportunity for partners to work together and to promote London as the design capital of the world.