Designs on Britain
19 October 2017 – 15 April 2018
Explore how modern British design was influenced by artists and designers emigrating from continental Europe with radical new ideas.
The practice and language of design in Britain shifted profoundly in the 20th century and this exhibition celebrates the many outstanding and often hidden contributions made by immigrants to the UK.
Catch a bus in London and you’ll be standing under Hans Schleger’s popular circle-and-bar bus-stop sign; wallow in 1970s nostalgia and Tom Karen’s Raleigh Chopper bike is sure to spring to mind. A version of his Marble Run toy is still loved by children today.
Originally destined for a career in set design in Austria, Dorrit Dekk arrived at work one day to be handed a note stating, ‘Jews not allowed’. Escaping to London, she worked for the government’s Central Office of Information producing iconic posters such as ‘Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases’ before setting up on her own as a graphic designer.
Another famous poster, ‘Dig for Victory’, was designed by FHK Henrion, who also started his own business and was a pioneer in developing the idea of corporate identity. His clients included such stalwart British companies as the Post Office, the National Theatre and Tate and Lyle.
These artists and more feature in an exhibition showcasing some of the most iconic British design of past 100 years.