A vision for the permanent collection at the V&A East, Why We Make, which put the people of east London at the heart of a new type of gallery – one created through meaningful dialogue with the makers, tools and processes behind the V&A's objects. In partnership with Freehaus and Studio Bergini.

In partnership with Freehaus and Studio Bergini, IDK proposed a vision for the V&A East's permanent collection, Why We Make.

The design concept was based on the origins of the V&A as the Museum of Manufactures – an institution that changed how we interact with culture by using physical reproductions of historic objects to allow audiences to engage with and learn from distant, unattainable cultural artefacts.

The proposed galleries broke down traditional thresholds of display culture, immersing visitors in spaces for wonder and delight, and inviting new audiences to take up the many challenges facing our world. The collection was presented as a set of artefacts in their own right as well as a collective catalyst for further creative action.

Key objects were suspended at height to draw visitors across the gallery space as part of a multi-sensory, experiential journey, alongside tactile replicas that removed traditional barriers to access and engagement. The proposal also outlined a set of imagined outward facing spaces, sites for experimentation in which new ideas could evolve. Each step on the visitor journey had its own distinct texture, allowing audiences to discover different narratives and activities with each new visit.

Through the process of collection and reproduction, the V&A East continues to inspire generations to learn by making, and contribute to creating contemporary culture. By bringing art, craft and science together with hands-on education, ambitious programming and deep community connections, the proposed galleries were a hub of vibrant, cultural co-creation.

Exhibition / Arts & culture
Collaborators: Freehaus, Studio Bergini