British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby have curated an exhibition at London's Design Museum containing a selection of objects paused part-way through the manufacturing process, which they joked reveals their obsession with aluminium.
The 24 objects on show at Barber and Osgerby's In The Making exhibition have all been paused at a different stage of completion, chosen to demonstrate the way it's made or to show it when its most visually interesting. "Some of the items are more beautiful and sculptural than the finished pieces," said Barber during a tour of the exhibition.
At the entrance to the exhibition sits an aluminium section that would form the front of a London Underground train. The chunk of metal is instantly recognisable as belonging to a tube carriage even taken out of context.
Seeing the train front in isolation also allows visitors to gauge the scale of the piece and the qualities of the material, which is true of all the objects on display.
"This could have be called the aluminium show," said Osgerby. "There are a number of aluminium pieces in this exhibition, which I think demonstrates the importance of the material - not least in its recyclability but also its malleability."
Arranged along two black corridors, the objects are presented under spotlights like sculpture or jewellery. "Each object has been lit in this way to really try to animate the design and give it an importance," said Osgerby.
Some of the manufacturing techniques are easily recognisable in the objects, such as the creation of pencils, while other more abstract forms are harder difficult to guess, like the conical top of a silicon cylinder used to create semi-conductive chips for electronics.
A sheet of leftover lurid yellow felt with cut out strips used for tennis balls and the splayed upper of a Nike GS Football Boot were chosen for their graphic shapes.
"We were quite struck by the amazing graphic quality, which is something we've really paid attention to in our work," said Barber.
Aside from the torch, Barber and Osgerby have also included their designs for a £2 coin to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground and the injection-moulded Tip Ton chair for design brand Vitra.
Positioned at the ends of the displays are two larger items: a sofa by furniture brand B&B Italia that has been formed into shape with foam but not yet upholstered and a long cuboid of clay that would be sliced up into bricks.
Three screens are installed to show the manufacture of the items and visitors can take pamphlets containing more information about each object as they exit the exhibition space. These booklets were designed by London studio Build, which created all the graphics for the show.
In The Making runs until 4 May at the Design Museum in London. Photography is by Mirren Rosie, courtesy of the Design Museum, unless otherwise stated.
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