From 23 October, the Design Museum is showing their new exhibition Waste Age: What Can Design Do?. The exhibition puts our relationship with waste into the spotlight, first drawing attention to the role it performs in the economic systems destroying the planet, before highlighting the work of a new generation of visionary designers who are reimagining our ways of living.
The exhibition includes work by notable figures and groups including Stella McCartney, Formafantasma, Studio Drift, Lacaton & Vassal, Fernando Laposse, Bethany Williams, Phoebe English, Natsai Audrey Chieza and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, as well as a large-scale art installation by Ibrahim Mahama.
We have provided a range of work for Waste Age, from the exhibition identity and monumental typographic animations to the design of the wall texts and captions, a suite of animated information graphics and the outdoor campaign and retail products promoting the exhibition. A vivid colour palette – from toxic yellow through to warm pink – and bold graphic elements give a striking feel to the exhibition. The overall design is stripped-back, and therefore informative and visually impactful in a way that conveys the urgency of the message behind Waste Age.
The campaign also features a typeface constructed from found materials, demonstrating how waste material can be imaginatively repurposed to both functional and aesthetically powerful ends – an ideal representation of the exhibition’s themes.
The exhibition was produced by exploring innovative and sustainable methods, including the extensive use of hand-held inkjet printers for the signage to avoid the use of vinyl or plastic lettering and save on material waste. Water-based ink was used to minimise the environmental impact of the printing. This was carried out in consultation with a specialist advisory panel, and the exhibition includes a complete environmental audit.
‘Opening on the eve of the Cop26 climate summit, Waste Age is a powerful wake-up call, not so much to consumers, but to the manufacturers, retailers and, most crucially, government regulators. It is not intended to be a slap around the face for buying that takeaway coffee on your way to the museum, or forgetting your cotton tote bag yet again, but an eye-opening look at the sheer scale of the issue, and the people working on ingenious solutions.’ – Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian
Scope of work:
Identity concept & creation
Signage & wayfinding