The Peasant in the City

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This piece was written for a Zacheta show, Polska – kraj folkloru? You can download the catalogue in English here. It includes excellent essays by Gabriela Świtek, Błażej Brzostek and the curator, Joanna Kordjak. A Socialist capital – a city for every citizen … the worker, the peasant and the working intelligentsia’ – political slogan Poland, … Continue reading

The Poster Remediated – installation shots and press

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These installation shots in Poster Museum at Wilanów were provided by Podpunkt, the excellent studio which designed the show and the accompanying book. They were photographed by Michał Drabik. Podpunkt did much more than design the show: they worked closely with me to shape its conceptualisation. Much of the intellectual drive of the show comes from Podpunkt’s design. The … Continue reading

Design Exhibitions Today – Answers and Questions

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This piece appears in Disegno magazine, 7, 2014.   Design museums and galleries have long been in the business of celebrating things. Walk through the ornate doors of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or into the airy lobby of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the building itself tells you … Continue reading

Modernizacje 1918-1939. Czas przyszły dokonany – review

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This review was commissioned by the European Architectural History Network in 2010. ♦ Like a number of other exhibitions on modernist art and architecture, Modernizacje 1918-1939. Czas przyszły dokonany (Modernizations 1918-1939: Future Perfect) at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź opened with images of a society in revolutionary turmoil. In this case it was not Soviet … Continue reading

Writing Design: The History of Design Criticism in the UK since the 1960s

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This essay appeared in the book published to accompany Communicate! British Independent Graphic Design since the 1960s, an exhibition curated by Rick Poynor at the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 2005. ♦ The history of journalism about graphic design in Britain is, in large part, the history of specialist design journals. Unlike other spheres … Continue reading

A spectre haunts the world and it is the spectre of migration

Formafantasma, works in the 'Moulding Tradition' series, 2009

This review appears in Frieze, November 2011. ♦ In recent years Studio Formafantasma – Italian designers, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin – have made a number of journeys into the past to excavate the meanings which traditional and even ‘lost’ materials and techniques can possess. Their ‘Botanica’ (2011) series of lamps and vessels, for instance, … Continue reading

Any colour .. as long as it’s black

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Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art – in its temporary location of a socmodernist furniture store – is, appropriately enough, hosting an exhibition by German designer Konstantin Gricic. The works on display do not come from the drawing boards of his Munich studio: Grcic here takes on the role of curator. Like his Serpentine Gallery show … Continue reading

Boiling the City

Kitchen Budapest

At the Łódź Design Festival last weekend, I saw this exercise in data visualisation and sonification. Culling data pulled from one of the major Hungarian news sites –www.origo.hu, Kitchen Budapest’s animation tells you something you already know, that the capital dominates the country. One in four Hungarians live in the Budapest metropolitan area. At 30 … Continue reading

Design Beyond Art

Jurgen Bey ‘s 2002 ‘Linen-Cupboard House’

Here’s a review of two exhibitions – ‘Telling Tales‘ at the V&A and ‘Super Contemporary’ at the Design Museum. Both exhibitions closed in October 2009 but Telling Tales has left an impressive website. The piece first appeared in 2+3d.