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5 March, 2017 23:26

March 5, 2017

Institutional Knowledge- The Victoria and Albert museum

I have always found architectural design particularly interesting due to its imposing nature of human experience, how intertwined it is in the way we socialise, and its direct impact it has on our moods. The first time I visited the V&A museum I saw the installation that was situated within the garden, I found the contrast of the web like architectural structure (‘Elytra Filament pavilion’) and the Victorian architecture fascinating. Although not actually being part of a collection the artefact is just as significant if not more within its surrounding architecture and modern architecture in general. The choice of having this architecture situated within the museum I believe is a statement. It is promoting change, and new ways to develop architecture with advances in technology. Furthermore, it presents the close relationship buildings have with nature. The structure itself is constructed from glass and carbon fibre, that was inspired by beetles and spun by robots. The V&A commissioned this installation called ‘Elytra Filament pavilion’ to mark the beginning of the engineering season. Despite many of the collections in the V&A holding dated artefacts this installation shows that the museum is not fixated in the past but are also looking promote future developments in architecture.

When I returned to the museum I decided to look at the architecture collection and the types of designs that they are exhibiting. The majority of the collection reflected the similar ethos presented through the installation, as the architectural models represented the designs of the future. I was particularly interested in the architectural models that were self-supporting and formed from lattice structures. Through deeper observation these were called ‘super tree structures’ – the definition for these were something that represents a tree without being a tree. These models reminded me of the “gardens by the bay’’ in Singapore, these were designed by Grant Associate &Wilkinson Eyre Architects. These designs were an attempt by the National Parks board to create a city within Singapore’s natural surroundings.

The museum presented this collection in a very corporate manner and made me feel slightly uneasy. I believe they miss out a lot of the traditional forms of architecture and how we have got to the architectural complexity and styles that we use to form our cities today. This area of the museum I believe was very business-like and rather than just being a way of educating us visitors it also seemed like they were pitching/selling these new designs which I found less appealing. However, the strengths are that they showed the interaction of architecture with nature.

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