Power of Making @ V+A London

Power of Making

POM_Crochetdermy-bear_Shauna-Richardson.jpgCrochetdermy bear, Shauna Richardson

6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012

A V&A and Crafts Council exhibition


The Porter Gallery
Room 48
Free admission

This autumn, the V&A and Crafts Council will celebrate the role of making in our lives by presenting an eclectic selection of over 100 exquisitely crafted objects, ranging from a life-size crochet bear to a ceramic eye patch, a fine metal flute to dry stone walling. Power of Making will be a cabinet of curiosities showing works by both amateurs and leading makers from around the world to present a snapshot of making in our time.

The exhibition will showcase works made using a diverse range of skills and explore how materials can be used in imaginative and spectacular ways, whether for medical innovation, entertainment, social networking or artistic endeavour. Works on display will include moulded shoes by Marloes ten Bhömer, new Saville Row tailoring by Social Suicide, furniture such as a spun metal rotating chair by Thomas Heatherwick to individual handcrafted puppets from the 2009 film Fantastic Mr Fox, a six-necked guitar, bio-implant embroidering to aid surgical implants, a lion-shaped Ghanaian coffin, extreme cake decorations and new technologies such as 3D printing. There will be a recently completed work by David Mach, a giant gorilla created of metal coat hangers, which will stand in the V&A’s Grand Entrance, outside the Porter Gallery.

Crafts Council Logo

The exhibition will encourage visitors to consider the process of making, not just the results. There will be commissioned documentary footage filmed at individual maker’s studios and factories, to provide an insight into how the knowledge of making is preserved. People from around the world will be invited to upload short films about making to a dedicated open submission website and a selection of the best entries will be continually screened in the exhibitions making area.

Power of Making comes at a time when the loss of skill is threatening cultural practice and impacting on commercial industries. However, there is also a resurgence of making currently taking place as a means of self expression, social participation and cultural definition. The exhibition will examine and celebrate the expertise, knowledge and innovation demonstrated in objects, supporting the importance of traditional making skills and the drive towards new ways of working.

Where Ikea fail




Don’t get me wrong Ikea are the number one furniture store on the planet but I don’t know if you noticed but the first time u go to an Ikea you invariably get lost!  That is because they are sited normally in areas that have suffered from low urban renewal for some time.

Getting to an Ikea store can be stressful stuff… does that work for them or against?

Here in Italy the recent opening of the Parma Ikea had me wondering what the hell goes wrong when the business strategy team step outside their carefully indoctrinated comfort zone – the 30% reduction signs are up and the crowds are way down.  The location of the Parma and Croydon shops are classic examples of getting urban distribution all wrong and here’s why.

Parma Ikea Location

The shop is located right alongside the motorway so quite often one associates the Ikea experience as being something you just simply pass by!!

It is located on the unpopular east side of the city, alongside the Barilla manufacturing plant adjacent to the prison.  Now for local Parmigiani that raises eyebrows immediately!  Couple with that Ikea is targeting a wide catchment area which this location denies.

15km along the autostrada toward Piacenza and Milan is Fidenza Village, a sprawling mall serving fashion Outlet stores.  The beauty of this location is it draws the Parma crowd and also the Piacenza city catchment.  It wins two markets… not only that the nearby towns of Fiourenzuola and Fidenza also stop and shop in the village.

This kind of location would have doubled customer flows for Ikea.  On the East side of town it is in an unpopular no-go zone and declining.

The Croydon Store

Same story situated in Purley way the store is on the edge of London and Croydon‘s high population density areas.

Coming to the store from South London is a hard difficult stop start drive cutting across all kinds of traffic clusters and clogged arteries.

In terms of catchment it finds itself in a fading out area bordering on Surrey – a place where only the lowly shop seriously at Ikea.

So how well do you feel Ikea do placing their stores around your world?

Would it be better to do this differently… like compact stores such as Ikea Kitchen and Bath? Ikea spare parts stores etc??

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