"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].
"You are warmly invited to attend the DRS 2013 AGM and Symposium at Loughborough Design School, UK on Monday 17th June 2013. This year symposium's theme is 'Value of Design Research'. We are fortunate to secure three prominent design researchers to address this year symposium's theme."
"Zoomorphic presents a startling new trend in architecture – buildings that look like animals. Animal resemblances arise for various reasons. An architect may wish to create a symbol, as architects have always done. Or, there may be a functional explanation for why a building comes to share elements of its design with that of some living creature.
Until now, the Art Nouveau was perhaps the high water mark of architecture's attempt to embrace nature. Today, with computers and new materials, architects are able to design and build more freely so they are exploring the natural world once more."
(Victoria & Albert Museum, 2004)
"Gerald Scarfe is known for thirty years of brilliant caricatures that have appeared in Private Eye, the New Yorker and the Sunday Times, as well as his artwork for Disney's Hercules, the titles fo Yes Minister and Pink Floyd's The Wall. In this film, shot in his studio, the distinguished British illustrator and cartoonist draws us a picture and discusses the lasting influence of the V&A."
London 22–25 September 2011: "Alpha–ville festival explores the intersection between art, technology and society and for this edition we are collaborating with various venues and spaces in London such us The Victoria & Albert Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, Space Studios, Vortex Jazz Club, Netil House, XOYO and Hearn Street Warehouse to bring along an extensive 4–day event featuring social media art, kinect art, interactive installations, open labs, workshops, performances, screenings, live music & A/V shows, a one–day symposium and more!
The 2011 edition provides an online and live platform to explore, test and disseminate new ideas, emerging trends, collaborations and groundbreaking works. Running from 22–25 September and taking place alongside the London Design Festival, the 2011 edition enables a network of satellite events spreading across different London boroughs and links with other European cities such as Madrid (Twin Gallery) and Brussels & The Hague (Todays Art).
The festival programme also connects east and west London thorough a link with the V&A Digital Design Weekend."