Victoria and Albert Museum. Exploring “Albertopolis” and designing the hoarding for the V&A’s Exhibition Road redevelopment project.
V&A Museum - Part of Albertopolis. One hundred and fifty(150)years ago, Albertopolis became a reality in South Kensington, due to the vision of Prince Albert and Sir Henry Cole. Both of them wanted an area of the capital dedicated to culture and education. It is known as Albertopolis after its royal patron. World class museums, headquarters of national organisations and premier educational institutions hosted by some of the most magnificent buildings of London welcomes thousands of people from across the world, discovering links to more than 110 countries
Aims: Inform the public for the redevelopment. Reflect the local community and history of cultural quarter. Build anticipation around the project. Increase audiences by encouraging people to visit the museum.
Institutions include the Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Art, the Science Museum and of course the Victoria and Albert Museum. V&A is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over four and a half(4.5) million objects including paintings, photographs, furniture, glass, textiles, costumes and jewellery. It was founded in 1852 and taken its name by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. It has since grown to cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2)and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day.
Research and Experimentation. Inspiration and ideas through the redevelopment and interactive hoardings.
V&A Museum’s Redevelopment. Using the best architects and designers, the V&A is brought into the 21st century with restored modern design and innovation. The gallery will be holding a full programme of the V&A’s world-class exhibitions. The neoGothic and neo-Classic museological tradition of ornate ceilings inspired its geometrical, structural design form, promoting the art and craft of manufacture in its didactic role. “We are reimagining the dialogue between the V&A and Exhibition Road,” states architect Amanda Levete, “and in doing so, creating a new public space in the cultural and learning heart of London.”
Research - Inspiration. Keyword of the hoarding and this project is “interactivity” which is giving the opportunity to people to get closer to the museum. My collaborator and me, have done research on interactive hoardings.
Ideas - Experimentation - Results. Generally, our ideas are including interfaces with cameras and touch screens letting in this way, the public to interact with the hoarding and learn about the redevelopment and the objects of V&A’s galleries.
This research included the placement of QR codes which can be scanned by passers, touch screens that looks like outdoor posters as well as interesting interfaces which are connected with cameras and the web.
The figures below show some drafts of an idea we had, which allows the users to draw any object as they like while they are being informed about it. This is inspired by our last year project on interfaces. Other drafts mockups shows how the design of the hoarding should it be, based on the redevelopment structure of straight lines and geometrical shapes.
Moreover, inspiration was found on other hoarding examples with our sences focused on the connection between their design and the client or area they were represented, the colours and the structure of pictures and text. Our interest was also attracted by the presence of social media in advertising and hoardings, which spread any information quickly and effectively.
Final Hoarding Design. Interactive screen, design, evaluation of process and results. Hoarding Design. The design of the hoarding is inspired by the structure of the new galleries which the redevelopment project will submit. Straight, diagonal coloured lines, similar to the new gallery space’s plans, seem they are coming out from the screen, spreading to the hoarding area untill they reach another screen. Between them the public can see the objects of the museum’s galleries but also skethces of the Albertopolis buildings and redevelopment. Moreover, text is placed on the white space around pictures and touch screens.
Screen/Application Design. The main functionality of the hoarding are touch screens which allow user to get information of the museum’s artworks and make his/her oun drawing.
Evaluation. Working on this D&AD project about V&A museum, it gave me the chance to realise the important role of the connection between the client and the artist.
First, the screen gives the opportunity to choose one of the many artworks that are shown in rectangles. By choosing one, the user is informed by a new window about the object’s area of design, its artist and some historic informations. Also, the choise between to proceed or go back is offered.
I reckon that we manage to achieve the aims that the brief was asking about. The public will be encouraged to visit the museum and get information, not only watching the pictures or reading the text, but also by playing with the application of the touch screens. The reflection of the local community and its history was also achieved by placing images and text in a modern design that of course is suitable to the redevelopment’s plans.
If the user decides to proceed, a new window appears, showing the artwork and the digital canvas he/she can draw on using the colour palette and brushes. Below the canvas, the user is able to upload/share any drawing on V&A’s social networks by clicking the buttons. Any swearing is reported and deleted immediately.
Unfortunately, the placement of touch screens on the hoarding as interactive tools is expensive and not premitted by the client’s mandatories as the technical parameters for the hoarding included Di-bond aluminium panels for surface.