Design and National histories– CCS

The presentation for today was discussing the questions that can be posed about the role of the Victoria and Albert;  here are the notes I scrawled down quickly for that task:

  • Education or entertainment? — Is the Victoria and Albert museum there for Education or for the entertainment of people? or both? Bringing this to question, it could be both, but it all depends on how someone sees the V&A. What do they see it as? In terms of entertainment, it could be entertaining to them because of all of the modern and historical art pieces for them to see; there’s also a ton of interactive equipment for the younger generation who get easily distracted from the Art works and for those who see the museum as a way of education, that’s more aimed at those who go there to learn new things, get inspiration or who want answers for the questions they’re continuously asking. In my opinion, I see the V&A to be both; I love art in many forms. When I was a child, I loved looking at the many art pieces, which I called ‘Pictures’ or ‘Drawings’ or I would be amused and entertained by the silly dress up tasks, that the staff would set up or even the music in the background. The text beside the pieces on the panels would bore me the most. I use to loath reading. Whereas now, I find the museum to be very helpful with my education and learning new things. I was able to learn a lot from different museum visits, across Kent and London.
  • Aesthetic appreciation or imperial display? Some will visit the galleries for their love of certain work(s), or will simply go there to have a look, or take interest on what’s on display. As stated previously, some will visit the V&A for both reasons, usually, this is an assumption, which I will make, but often, people go to some galleries thanks to advertisement by Art appreciators or hosts. Others will go because they’re curious to see new things.
  • Commerce or scholarship?
  • Or all of these?

Some facts collected:

  1. The V&A was originally called the ‘South Kensington museum’, it was later changed to the Victoria and Albert museum by Queen Victoria as a last engagement and also, all of the funds collected from the Great exhibition were used towards creating the South Kensington museum.
  2. 30 colonies represented by manufactured goods and raw materials.
  3. Things from the exhibition were taken to the new museum.
  4. Imperial gifts were given to Victoria.
  5. The key thing was the Indian court at the Great Exhibition because people saw it as ‘Exotic’ and ‘Oriental’.
  6. The Great exhibition helped popularise Indian merchandise in Britain.
  7. If you wanted something from the museum, that was created by the Indian sellers or artists, you could order it from India inside the exhibition.
  8. British goods were being sold in India.

From these notes, they’ve helped understand the missing links between some of the items I photographed in the museum, so I may want to consider using a few of these notes for the reviews draft.


Level 4 Viscomm- CCS

The importance of history in design

The basis of the entire module. Here are all of the following notes, that I’ve taken from the power point shown during the lecture on Tuesday 06th October 2015.

  1. We’ll be selecting a room at the V&A on Tuesday of the third week.
  2. Meeting at the main entrance.
  3. Check Weblearn by Friday.

The great exhibition. 1851.

    • Urbanisation
    • Mass-production.
    • Imperialism.
    • Mass consumerism
    • Regulation of taste.
    • Social improvement: Philanthropy and Paternalism.

Paul Greenhelgh

Ephemeral visitors.

Prefabrication, world fairs, mass communications, urbanization, mass production.

Industrial revolution.


Adrian Forty

Objects of desire.


  • Britain had an emerging capitalist system.
  • simple cooperation of workers, who share a workshop and buy raw materials, then sell their work collectively.
  • Different tasks of craft divided up amongst the workers with a master in charge.
  • There was an introduction of  machines.

Great Exhibition 1851 was set in Hyde Park and it was inside ‘The Crystal palace’. The Crystal palace is built of steel and glass, and the maker behind it was Joseph Paxton. The event had over 100,000 objects put on display from 34 different nations and the exhibition had just over 600,000,000 visitors from around the world. It was funded by private individuals.

Perhaps one of the individuals were Prince Albert? He was the main drive behind the exhibition, and having the event take place. It has been stated that the royal family wanted to introduce ‘good taste’ to the upper class and the working class.

What did the exhibition represent? It represented a country with an empire; it was the first ever international exhibition to be held, it represents a demonstration of the modern industrial designs and ideas of the rest of the world.

Note: 1848– There was a revolution in other countries besides Britain.

The exhibition was also about instruction and teaching people about social improvement.




*Still adding notes and will add, edit and update.