"In the second programme in the series, presenter Paul Martin reveals the secret history of wallpaper from the 17th century to the present day.
The film explores how wallpaper, seemingly so fragile and easy to replace, provides a vital index of changing tastes in the home. The programme shows how from its earliest days wallpaper imitated other, more costly wall coverings: from the 17th–century papers that were designed to look like embroidered textiles to 18th–century flocked wallpapers. The latter, intended as a cheaper substitute for costly damasks or velvets, became a triumph of British innovation, coming to grace the grandest of state apartments and country house interiors.
Focussing on how wallpaper was actually made, the programme goes onto explore how it became one of the battlefields in discussions about design in the 19th century. For, although technological innovations in machine printing had allowed manufacturers to print elaborate designs with complex colour–ways, some commentators were shocked by the poor aesthetic quality of British wallpapers. The programme looks at how designers and reformers attempted to take the situation in hand: from 'The False Principles of Design', an exhibition organised by Sir Henry Cole, the first Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which sought to instruct the British public in good and bad design; to the pioneering work of Augustus Pugin and William Morris.
Finally, the film traces the fortunes of wallpaper in the 20th century. Patterned walls faced stiff competition from the purity of plain, painted or whitewashed walls, as advocated by modernists like Le Corbusier. However, new techniques, like screen–printing, allowed shorter runs of innovate wallpapers, which were aimed at architects and interior designers. And, as Paul Martin discovers, wallpaper is still flourishing at the beginning of the 21st century. A combination of digital printing, screen–printing and hand–printing allows companies, like Timorous Beasties, to produce exciting new designs.
Presented by Paul Martin, contributors include Christine Woods, Anthony Wells–Cole, Martha Armitage, Allyson McDermott and Paul Simmons (Timorous Beasties), as well as V&A experts."
First broadcast on 25 September 2013 on BBC Four as part of the Handmade in Britain series [http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bm1rg].
"Culture & Media reveals how the worlds of entertainment, media and digital and the creative side of marketing and advertising influence cultural movements that impact on business decisions. Expert reports on art, graphics, illustration and global exhibitions offer visual inspiration for inquisitive creative minds."
(Stylus media group)
"From the end of the Sixties to the mid–Seventies the chemical company Bayer rented a pleasure boat during every Cologne furniture fair and had it transformed into a temporary showroom by a well–known contemporary designer. The main aim was to promote various synthetics products in connection with home furnishings. Verner Panton was commissioned no less than twice to design this exhibition, entitled 'Visiona'. The 1970 'Visona 2' exhibition showed the Fantasy Landscape which was created in this environment. The resulting room installation consisting of vibrant colours and organic forms is one of the principal highlights of Panton's work. In terms of design history this installation is regarded as one of the major spatial designs of the second half of the twentieth century.
The creative fireworks which Panton lit with his studio within a preparation time of only a few months for 'Visiona 2' is expressed not only in the highly diversified room designs in the exhibition ship, but also in the wide range of furniture, lighting, wall coverings and textiles developed specially for this presentation. Some of these were adapted and went into series production later."
Visiona 2, Verner Panton, Panton Design, Showroom, Ausstellung, Cologne furniture fair; Visiona 2, Biographie, Verner Panton, imm cologne, Kölner Möbelmesse; Vitra–157; VP–13–H906, Panton Design, Basel