Some maps for the V&A

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We’ve just returned from the press preview of a new project for the V&A to time with the London Design Festival: a set of 10 bespoke maps of the museum based on the selections of designers, authors and media figures.

This project stemmed from a discussion about designer’s inspirations, and how many creatives found the V&A influential. We started planning an exhibition gathering pieces together, then realised that the logistics would be too daunting. Then we started to discuss other ways to show how the museum influenced people, and decided to create different maps of the museum, based on notable people’s favourite items.

We drew up lists of people that we and the museum thought would select an interesting and unusual ‘journey’ through one of the world’s greatest museums. A few great people like Vivienne Westwood just ran out of time (but we’re hoping to do a ‘round two’ at some time in the future). As it was we had a good selection of designers like Paul Smith and Stephen Jones, pop stars (Florence from Florence and the Machine), theatre personalities (Cameron Mackintosh) writers (Jacqueline Wilson) and a supermodel (Erin O’Connor).

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Then the design task was to design each map differently, to reflect each individual, yet fall under an overall style, so you see glimpses of content from the outside, then within each map is different.

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Our early experiments in folding the A2 sized maps in unusual ways revealed a highly unusual ‘map fold’ that creates the illusion of many pieces of paper, but is just folded from one piece of paper.

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Here are some of the other map interiors: Florence Welch, Stephen Jones (hat designer) and Cameron Mackintosh.

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The maps are printed, folded and drilled, and will be hung from specially designed stands that have been made for the duration of the Design Festival, starting this Saturday, 18th September.

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The full list of contributors:
Anya Hindmarch Fashion Designer
Sir Mark Jones Museum Director
Stephen Jones Hat Designer
Sir Cameron Mackintosh Theatre Producer
Erin O’Connor Supermodel
Nick Rhodes Singer and Producer
Tom Schumacher Theatre Producer
Sir Paul Smith Designer
Florence Welch Singer-Songwriter
Dame Jacqueline Wilson Children’s Author

Our thanks to
‘Route’ photography: Leon Steele
Modelmaker/stand builder: Wesley West
Map photography: Tal Silverman