A collaborative team consisting of an architecture and design practice, a graphic design studio and an artist have won a brief to design the V&A East Museum’s ‘Why We Make’ galleries.

The winning team consists of JA Projects led by Jayden Ali, graphic design studio A Practice for Everyday Life, and artist Larry Achiampong.

Together, the team will design the galleries – located across two floors – to explore global creativity and making through a contemporary lens.

The galleries will bring together over 500 objects from the V&A’s collections spanning 5,000 years of art, design, and performance.

The winning design brief was selected from a shortlist of collaborative teams that included Citizens Design Bureau with Hayatsu Architects, Neba Sere and Rose Nordin; Freehaus x IDK + Bergini; OMMX with HATO; and Studio C102 + Mobile Studio Architects + Manijeh Verghese with Sthuthi Ramesh.

The V&A said the winning team’s proposal centred on “a commitment to increasing representation and creating tangible opportunities for young people through the design process”. It added that the brief supported the museum’s own ambition to create a museum for 16- to 24-year-olds representative of the four Olympic boroughs (Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest).

The selection panel were said to be impressed by the team’s “coherent, dynamic, and captivating concept designs that showed their thoughtful approach to sustainable materials and local production and a deep understanding of east London”.
The panel also noted the team’s ability to “balance bold and immersive visitor experiences alongside quieter opportunities for contemplation.”

Two members from the V&A East Youth Collective – a rolling annual paid opportunity for young east Londoners to help shape V&A East – sat on the design-making panel to appoint the winning team. The V&A East Youth Collective will work with the design team to review ideas and provide continued consultation and collaboration.

Artist Larry Achiampong, whose work seeks to foreground marginalised identities and perspectives, will guide the winning team’s approach.

Jayden Ali, Founding Director, JA Projects, said: “East London means home for every member of our team. Larry Achiampong and I grew up together in Bethnal Green and the A Practice for Everyday Life studio is located there. We’re honoured to contribute to east London, the place of our grandparents, parents, children and friends.”

Claire McKeown, V&A East Project Director, said of the team: “We can’t wait for them to challenge us with new approaches to museum display and ensure we’re putting the needs of our audiences first to create spaces where everyone feels welcome at V&A East Museum.”

Set to open in 2025, the V&A East Museum is part of East Bank, the Mayor of London’s new cultural quarter in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Art Fund – News
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