"A celebration of design’s power, an exploration of how it can improve some of society’s fundamental building blocks." It's Nice That
Designers in Residence is a unique, annual residency that gives four UK-based designers a period of reflection, research and critical rigour away from their normal routine. The young designers are invited to respond to a brief set by Deyan Sudjic, the Director of the Design Museum; in 2014, that theme was disruption.
Pollyanna worked alongside the designers as they interpreted the brief in markedly different ways. James Christian aimed to disrupt the state of inertia that surrounds British housing design. Ilona Gaynor exposed the loopholes in the British judicial system via the staging of a televised conspiracy. Torsten Sherwood took conventional building schemes and from them created a new kind of children’s construction toy, and Patrick Stevenson-Keating created new financial products as a way of highlighting our normally passive role within the global economic system – and how the most mundane of financial transactions can be used as a force for good.
Working with emerging artists can be challenging, particularly with the added pressure of producing new work for one of the world’s most prestigious design organisations. Designers in Residence is an evolving exhibition, too: curation and exhibition design takes place as the commissions themselves are developed, meaning that curatorial decisions and planning have to be responsive and flexible – without losing overall sight of the organisation’s aims and standards. Pollyanna managed to maintain this balance, curating the overall exhibition while giving each designer the mix of creative freedom and support they needed in order to turn a series of highly conceptual ideas into a tangible and popular show.