Museum of Childhood V&A
Clangers Bagpuss & Co
Overall budget £23K
Clangers, Bagpuss & Co is the first exhibition to showcase the work of Smallfilms – the company of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, who created some of the best known children’s TV programmes of the 1950s, 60s and 70s including Pogles, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Clangers and Bagpuss. In the short space of three months, we conceived, designed and delivered this ambitious exhibition, working closely with the museum curators and their in-house workshop to create an inviting and inventive space that would appeal to all generations, including those without prior knowledge of the characters or programmes.
The design was inspired by the converted rural barn where Smallfilms was based and the creative chaos found inside. Above all, the original objects, puppets and artwork needed to be the stars of the exhibition and the design needed to not compete with them.
Consideration had to be give to the light sensitivity of the paper artworks and the majority of display cases were reused from previous exhibitions. At one end of the barn structure is a ‘living room’ space where visitors can sit and enjoy episodes and clips from the programmes.
In the summer of 2015 we designed a temporary exhibition to inform visitors of the project’s aims and objectives and to canvas opinion about the proposals. We created a series of visuals tools including card games and posters to help facilitate this.
In March 2016 we were commissioned by Victoria and Albert Museum South Kensington to redesign the Buddhist Galleries. This work, which included 3D and 2D design, became necessary because of the new Exhibition Road entrance. We have created layouts that place associated works of art within the historic interior of the V&A. Pieces are grouped by religious sects within individual rooms and are placed in juxtaposition to demonstrate differences across regions and countries. Additionally objects are placed so as to be framed by door openings to encourage visitors to transition between spaces and create dramatic compositions with the architecture.
The project reuses and repurposes existing showcases and plinths;the design process has included assessing which items can be successfully integrated into a unified and coordinated design approach.
Audio visual elements are integrated into the historic spaces in two different ways: creating large contextual images to place objects in relationship to their original landscape and providing discrete touch screen interfaces to assess expert knowledge / talking head interviews.