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UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral, Shanghai Expo China 2010 © Iwan Baan

UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral, Shanghai Expo China 2010 © Iwan Baan

We were delighted to be involved in the new Heatherwick Studio exhibition: Designing the Extraordinary, currently on show at the V&A museum. Working alongside Here Design, we were responsible for laser engraving the entire collection of museum signage panels to support the wonderful array of work on show.

This solo exhibition features a dense amount of prototypes, experiments, material samples as well as finished works and models from some recent projects including the UK Pavillion seed cathedral in Shanghai expo china 2010.

Whilst the exhibit occupies one of the smaller spaces of the V&A (the Porter Gallery), you won’t be disappointed with the volume and variety of work on show. Works from the last two decades are arranged in clusters that show similar developmental processes rather than by creative discipline or chronology. Examples of architecture, sculpture, engineering, furniture and product design are intertwined. The sense you get from this is that you are walking through the studio’s working space, taking a peek at the design processes.

Heatherwick studios working methods are evident even before entry. A brilliant contraption conceived to dispense the exhibition guide outside the gallery is less designed and more a response to the forms of the large printed paper rolls as they come from the printers. The dispenser allows you to roll and tear off your own guide at will. It expresses more the “paperness” of guides in a less formal way than a conventional gallery booklet.

The exhibition is the climax of the V&A series which celebrates the best in british design. For some, Heatherwick is a lesser known name. This exhibition will give an insight into the thriving design studio and his presence in the british design mainstream, not least for his recent design of the famous routemaster bus but also for a comission by Danny Bolye to design the cauldron for the London Olympic opening ceremony. For many who are familiar with his work, it adds a deeper understanding into his design methods and processes. We highly recommend a visit!