V&A and me

We first designed this set of maps for the London Design Festival as part of their annual collaboration with the V&A museum in London. The idea originally stemmed from a discussion about designers’ inspirations, and whether we could gather pieces from across the museum into one room and exhibit them in a persuasive way.

What became obvious fairly swiftly was that persuading curators across the museum to move pieces was a huge (and slightly impractical) task, and we needed another idea. Luckily that idea arrived - to design personalised ‘trails' across the museum, based on notable peoples' personal selections from the museum's vast array of objects.

We drew up lists of people who we and the museum thought would select interesting and unusual journeys through one of the world’s greatest museums. A few of our favourites ran out of time, but we still had a nice mixture of designers such as Paul Smith and Stephen Jones, pop stars (Florence from Florence and the Machine), theatre personalities (Cameron Mackinstosh), writers (Jacqueline Wilson) and a supermodel (Erin O’Connor).

The task then was to design each map differently, to reflect each individual, yet fall under an overall style. We also wanted glimpses of content to be visible from the outside.

Our early experiments in folding the A2-sized maps revealed a highly unusual ‘map fold' that created the illusion of many pieces of paper, but just emanated from one.

Ten maps were printed, folded and drilled, then displayed on specially designed and created white metal stands for the duration of the Design Festival. Here you can see the displays in action last year, and we're working on another set for this autumn's festival.