The Victoria and Albert (V&A) in London will open a new permanent furniture gallery on the 1st December 2012 displaying 600 years of historical design pieces. From the ultra-modern to the late 14th century, the gallery will host nearly 200 pieces of British, European, Asian and American furniture.
CHAIR - Designed by Charlotte Perriand (1903 - 99); made by Thonet Freres, French (Paris) - 1928. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Designed by NORD Architecture, the gallery tells the story of how the furnishings were built and decorated, discovering a variety of materials and techniques that range from carpentry, modelling, upholstery, digital manufacturing to engraving, carving, gilding and lacquering.
Table - Designed by Carlo Mollino (1905 - 73); made by Apelli & Varesio, Italy - c.1949. ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
ESU 421-C - Designed by Charles Eames (1907 - 1978) & Ray Eames (1916 - 1988); made by Herman Miller Furniture Co, Usa (1949 - 1950). ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Famous names, such as Thomas Chippendale, David Roentgen, Grinling Gibbons, George Bullock, Robert Adam, Eileen Gray, Michael Thonet, Charles and Ray Eames, Ron Arad and Tom Dixon will be placed next to less known designers, selected for their superior design and construction techniques.
Chair - David Colwell (1944 - ); made by William Jaycox Tire (1968). ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The gallery will integrate innovative and interactive technology, and for the first time at the V&A, digital labels will be used with a touch-screen interface to provide additional content and context for each object.
Films shown in the gallery will analyse key techniques, including carpentry, Boulle marquetry and digital manufacturing. Fourteen specially commissioned audio recordings will mark the reaction of contemporary experts, including David Adjaye and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the work of historical designers.
Branca Chair - Designed by Industrial Facility, England, manufactured by Mattiazzi, Italy (2011). ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fractal Table II - Designed by Platform: Gernot Oberfell and Jan Wertel, with Matthias Bär (2007 – 09); Manufactured by .MGX by Materialise, Belgium (2011). Purchased by the Design Fund to Benefit the V&A