Victoria and Albert Museum Announce Engineering Season

The London museum is to present a season of displays and installations as part of the V&A’s first ever engineering season, running from the 18th May to the 6th November 2016. 

Highlights of the season will include a site specific installation that is inspired by nature and fabricated by robots as well as the first ever retrospective of one of the most influential engineers of the 20th century – Ove Arup.

The aim of the season is to highlight the importance of engineering in our everyday lives, which will be complemented by a number of events, displays and digital initiatives.

Talking about the new season at the V&A, director of the museum Martin Roth said: “We may not know it, but engineers organise the world we live in. Our lives are reliant on visible and invisible systems conceived, built, run or facilitated by the many disciplines of contemporary engineering. The V&A Engineering Season is a clear statement in our renewed interest in industrial design and the engineer.”

The season will launch with a newly-commissioned garden installation  by experimental architect Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer. It is their first commission in the UK, with Elytra Filament Pavilion exploring the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design and engineering. The pavilion will grow over the course of the engineering season, allowing visitors see how structures are developed.

Meanwhile, Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the Philosophy of Total Design  will explore the work and legacy of Ove Arup – one of the most significant engineers of the 20th century.

Sir Ove Arup by Godfrey Argent. (C) National Portrait Gallery,London. 

During his career, Arup pioneered a multidisciplinary approach to design that is still used to this day. This exhibition running at the Victoria and Albert Museum from the 18th June to the 6th November will span over 100 years of engineering and architectural design.

It will be guided by Arup’s writings about design and feature his early projects such as the penguin pool at London Zoo as well as renowned projects by the firm such as Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

The season will also include a free display Mind over Matter: British Contemporary Engineering, opening from the 15th June to the 6th November, exploring a series of cutting-edge projects from around the world by British engineering firms. Other activities in the V&A Engineering Season will include an Exhibition Road Engineering Residency supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund; a themed Friday Late; a series of lunchtime and evening lectures; talks and gallery tours, as well as a Symposium about biomimicry, design and engineering with a keynote lecture by Achim Menges.

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s engineering season will run from the 18th May to the 6th November. For more information visit:

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