Saturday, September 17, 2011

Design bootsale

Lovely sunny Saturday morning... frustratingly spent in the office. But afterwards managed to pop into an intriguing exhibition called This Way Up, organized by my colleagues in Design Department.

Clever idea actually. What happens to the contents & catalogues of a dozen or so exhibitions after they've finished touring the world?  Well, some of the objects are returned to their owners, a little the worse for wear in some cases, but the rest ends up in warehouses and cupboards gathering dust. So the idea was to have a kind of bootsale in an otherwise empty retail space in Hoxton where people could buy some really quite iconic bits of design history: old Tom Dixon lights, a Michael Mariott chair, some framed photographs, some leftover merchandise like T-shirts & bags, even some 15 year old computers. Some of them I'd been involved in - like the Twinkle Twinkle lighting design exhibition I commissioned for Tokyo in 2004. 

And then there were the catalogues, supplemented by loads from visual arts exhibitions, enough to make a very decent bookshop. Who'd have thought that many of them are now collectors items?  I was intrigued to see the Jam: Tokyo-London catalogue priced at ₤50. Another one on fashion went for ₤200. Nothing was wasted. Even the weathered crates became plinths. The money raised is going to fund a design fellowship in a developing country.

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