Featuring the work of more than 30 of Britain's most influential designers, the British Council exhibition Lost and Found looks at fashion, product design, furniture and graphics. It includes new work by well-known furniture designers Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, and Shin and Tomoko Azumi, and features the results of ongoing research by innovators Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. Celebrated British fashion designers Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen are represented by their latest catwalk pieces alongside the seminal work of Shelley Fox and Jessica Ogden which continues to inspire a new generation of designers.
In the field of graphic design Lost and Found focuses equally on the latest projects by familiar names like Jonathan Barnbrook, Graphic Thought Facility and Fuel, as well as on the directional work being undertaken in interactive cd-roms and web design by younger names such as Henrik Kubel and Scot Williams.
The exhibition includes a day-bed designed by the artist Rachel Whiteread and a table by Andrew Miller, both of which are exhibited for the first time outside Britain. By bringing together design work by artists, and experimental work by designers, and uniting disciplines which are normally exhibited separately, the exhibition demonstrates how a new breed of designers has emerged in Britain whose work engages critically with ideas, and avoids easy categorisation. This new wave of designers uses concepts, ideas or questions as the starting point for design. How should we best make use of advances in technology when we are already surrounded by electronic pollution? What is the role of the product designer in a world already dogged by over-production? How can designers play a responsible role in using the earth's scant resources?
It is a critical approach, characterised by the articulation of the designer's own point of view in his or her work. The points of view made explicit in Lost and Found are much more diverse and often much more cynical than those of a previous generation of designers. Some are politically motivated; others are more interested in finding a way of articulating ideas in visual or formal ways; each of them is just as interested in the ideas which inform their designs, as they are in the finished product.
The dividing lines between art, design, fashion, music, architecture, clubbing and marketing are becoming increasingly blurred, and designers are drawing on all these influences in their work. Lost and Found shows design work and important contextual material in an installation by the London-based architects Muf, to show that Britain's landscape of design is now a landscape of ideas.
Michael Anastassiades, Shin and Tomoko Azumi, Jonathan Barnbrook, Dunne and Raby, Shelley Fox, Konstantin Grcic, Inflate and Ron Arad, Andrew Miller, Jasper Morrison, One Foot Taller, Tomato, Tomato Interactive, Vexed Generation, Rachel Whiteread, Martin Gamper, Anthony Burrell, Henrik Kubel and Scott Williams, FAT, Graphic Thought Facility, Paul Farrington, Designers' Republic, Paul Elliman, Nick Bell, Why Not Associates, Peter Saville, Russell Sage, Simon Thorogood, Jessica Ogden, Antoni and Alison, Boudicca, Ele-Kishimoto, Anna Nicole Zeische, El Ultimo Grito, Tom Dixon.
fully illustrated catalogue was co-published by Birkhauser, with contributions from Nick Barley, Stephen Coates, Rick Poyner, Caroline Evans, Marcus Field and Volker Fischer. ISBN 3 7643 6095 X ISBN 0 8176 6095 X (English) ISBN 3 7643 5998 6 (German) ISBN 3 7643 6096 8 (French)