Simon Leach Design were appointed in July 2016 to provide design services for the refresh of the Silver Discovery and Study Areas. Both spaces adjoin the main Silver Galleries, located on the third floor of the V&A South Kensington building.

As many silversmithing techniques and workshop practices are unchanged over the years, and because the Discovery Area is intended to highlight design and making, we are interested in harnessing the visual language of a silversmith’s workshop as the overarching visual expression for the space. Our approach will integrate visual links to workshops throughout the spaces as a means of providing a design language, whilst ensuring the space is welcoming, social and playful.

The space will be accessible, fun and welcoming to families and all other visitors. Activities will be integrated within object displays and interpretation. There will be a balance of objects with labels, hands-on activity and graphic information. The design will encourage visitors to ‘look, listen and discover’ for themselves.

The design takes two visual cues from workshops: The curve in the peg bench, this will be used to define interactive stations and seating area, the archival boxes from the ‘Barnard Collection’ these will be photographed to create a visual cohesive approach to the space, and allow a fun playful use of labels and content of the boxes.


v & a silver

v & a silver

v & a silver

v & a silver