On Saturday, I continued my sporadic tour of London’s cultural highpoints: Fabric, Smith of Smithfields, The End, Flying Records, Phonica, The Science Museum and now the Victoria & Albert Museum known informally as the V and A.
The museum is very disorientating despite the map that they provide you with on the way in. In fact the map was an offence against design to my co-explorer Steve, a design agency owner who came along. The exhibits on Japan were very interesting and made Europe look like a bunch of savages. The Victorian silverware looked crass and tasteless, the plunder of robber barons from an empire that spanned a third of the world (sort of like Kenneth Noye on a grand scale).
There were lots of activity areas and it should get a high rating for being child friendly. It was way cool and both Steve and myself took some time out for learning activities. The café wasn’t as swish as I had thought that it would be, however it is still very good. My expectations of the V and A had been distorted by the ‘V&A café with museum attached’ descriptions of it in the media. (Their 1 1/2 cup pot of coffee is actually good for two cups).
In addition, they had The Other Flower Show art exhibition and Tracy Emin’s work in particular had a very dark sense of humour in it with a ouija board and knife in the centre of a children’s wendy house.
One of the things I found out was that it was Architecture Week, judging by their materials and handouts both RIBA and the Arts Council had invested heavily in it. However beyond mentions in the design press about activity in Clerkenwell to celebrate the event we had not seen any press coverage. If you were involved in Architecture Week and want to get more publicity give me a call :-))
The V&A area suffered from a dearth of fast food suppliers so Steve and myself had to decamp by foot to Leicester Square in order to support a heinous global corporation that tears down the rainforest and provides gainful employment to sociology graduates in the fast-food industry. More posts about getting out and about here.