Paper View

Carmody Groarke employs newspaper pulp to make unique setting for the ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’ show


Luke Hayes

Architect Carmody Groarke has used spray-applied paper pulp to create cave-like spaces in its innovative exhibition environment for the ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’ show at London’s Design Museum. Made of recycled newspaper material, the product – called Soundcel – is more conventionally used for acoustic insulation.


Sculptural forms create a sequence of amorphous spaces within the rectilinear gallery. Their “assertive materiality… was a response to the exhibition design brief, which specified a powerful spatial experience that would act as a strong counterpoint to the diversity of the nominated designs”, says the architect.


These angled and curved forms incorporate ledges and recesses on which exhibits are displayed. Their textured surface “provides a beautiful, monolithic and cast-like quality to the exhibition spaces and makes for a low-fi contrast to the innovation and technology of the exhibition content”, says the architect.


Wayfinding signage, designed by Micha Weidmann Studio, is printed onto precision-cut, brightly coloured pieces of acrylic. The signs slice into the papered surfaces, contrasting with the rough background of the exhibition environment.


The exhibition – now in its tenth year presents over 60 global projects across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport. It employs a variety of media including film, virtual reality, audio and objects to represent the breadth and variety of this year’s designs.

Works included are judged to have “captured the spirit of the times”, and notable examples include the original Pussyhat, symbolising women’s solidarity in protest of President Donald Trump’s sexist remarks and the Refugee Nation Flag, created to represent stateless athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics. A jury of industry experts will decide on the award winners in January 2018.


‘Beazley Designs of the Year’
Design Museum, London
Until 28 January 2018


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