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  • Eleni Kyriacou


This was my first visit to the Design Museum since its move from the Southbank to Holland Park. I found the new space impressive and that it lends itself well to the museum’s purpose. I saw a temporary exhibition of fashion and textiles by young designers that focused on sustainability and the use of reclaimed materials. Some techniques used are similar to those traditionally used to make Greek “κουρελού” carpets. Techniques that once came about as a result of poverty and the necessity to reclaim whatever one could, are now used consciously by designers in a world where over-consumerism and excessive waste is one of the greatest contributors to the damage caused to our environment. Similarly collaging and patchwork like techniques were used in a contemporary manner where the same can be said; old techniques are being reappropriated in a contemporary context. Many of these pieces however were more conceptual art pieces as opposed to practical and wearable, as the issue of cleaning and garment maintenance would be an issue, for instance where reclaimed packaging has been used as a textile component.

I revisited the museum’s permanent collection display and liked the section on activism, where the importance of design in activism is showcased. What particularly stood out was the work of David Gentleman who designed the Bliar graphics for the demonstrations that took place against the Iraq war in 2003 attended by millions in the UK. The merging of design and activism is a topic which is very close to my heart and one which I have become increasingly interested in, in recent years.


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