Heatherwick Studio Brings Experimental Design to Victoria & Albert Museum


The first thing people see as they approach London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is a dazzling canopy draped over the buildings front steps.

British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his studio installed this sculpture of dozens of reflective white painted traffic cones turned upside down as part of the museum’s Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary exhibit.

The 3D cone installation creates a textured light-filled effect that casts wonderfully shaped shadows across the museum’s entrance. Heatherwick Studio is one of the most experimental design studios to come out of the U.K. and this is its first major solo exhibition and retrospective.

“He is an extremely exciting and forward thinking contemporary designer whose work spans a fascinating breadth of disciplines,” Martin Roth, the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, said of Heatherwick in a statement. “He is constantly challenging us with his ideas and pushing boundaries in art and design.”

UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Photo by Iwan Baan, courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Besides the traffic cone canopy, the museum offers up dozens of other Heatherwick Studio delights with more than 150 pieces of art, including an original seed-tipped rod from the UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, a scale model of the Olympic cauldron, and tons of photos of Heatherwick’s other work from around the world.

Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary is on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum through September 30, 2012.

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