The one thing I saw during LDF2010 that made me stop in my tracks and just stare was this exhibition of projects by University of the Arts London graduates, with exhibition design by studioXAG – who did some really amazing things with cardboard for it.
The whole thing was set inside a scaled-up dollhouse, which visitors were encouraged to step inside, becoming themselves part of the exhibition as one half of the space is a floor-to-ceiling window which looks out over High Holborn.
You step into a living room, with huge maquette hands suspended above as if about to rearrange you into a tableau of their choice. A huge dining table is ‘made of’ a matchbox, and is permanently set for afternoon tea. The chocolate gateau is maybe the best cake I have ever seen, and far and away the best cardboard cake I’ve ever seen. Even the chocolate shavings on top are arranged to perfection.
The actual graduate design on show is interesting, and more thoughtful than many of LDF‘s offerings this year – but what really steals the show is studioXAG’s phenomenal vision. And I like their vision even more having stumbled across a photo of their prototyping (below). So low-key, but so indicative of the way they seem to think.
‘Hands On: Design brought to life’ runs until 31 October at the Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London, 272 High Holborn, WC1V 7EY. Free entry, open Monday-Friday 11am-6pm. Here’s the link to their event page.