Engineering Season in London: Volkswagen partners with the Victoria and Albert Museum for comprehensive exhibition project
▪ First association between Volkswagen Group and the Victoria and Albert Museum
▪ Launch of the V&A “Engineering Season” with opening of “Elytra Filament Pavilion”
▪ Reflections of the art of engineering to be presented between 18 May and 6 November 2016
With the support of Volkswagen Group, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is introducing an exhibition, displays, events and digital initiatives dedicated to global engineering design, which have lastingly influenced our environment. Representing a premiere in the history of the V&A, the museum first unveils a unique pavilion on the occasion of the opening.
“Elytra Filament Pavilion” has been created by experimental architect Achim Menges with Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers and climate engineer Thomas Auer. It uses a unique robotic fabrication technique developed by the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Computational Design (ICD) and Institute of Building Structures and Building Design (ITKE). The 200m² pavilion in the John Madejski Garden is inspired by a lightweight construction principle found in the forewing shells of flying beetles, known as elytra.
The pavilion will grow over the course of the season in response to anonymous data on how visitors use and move under the canopy. This, as well as structural data, will be captured by real-time sensors installed in its canopy fibres. A specially developed winding process enabled an industrial robot to create each of the elements of the pavilion. The “Elytra Filament Pavilion” can be accessed for free at the V&A until 6 November.
The interactive installation forms the launch of the V&A “Engineering Season”, which is supported by Volkswagen Group as lead partner, marking the first association between the Group and the V&A. Combining technology, art and creativity, the Season features engineering achievements whose function and design fundamentally influence modern-day life. Alongside the “Elytra Filament Pavilion”, the Season presents a comprehensive exhibition on the work of Ove Arup, the most influential engineer in the 20th Century, opening on 18 June.
“The V&A Engineering Season will enable visitors to understand how much artistic creation and visionary power comes with technology. On many different levels one will be able to experience how essential creativity is to progress. Offering such a project to the visitors of the V&A was made possible with the Volkswagen Group, and we therefore sincerely thank our partner for supporting the Season,” says Dr. Martin Roth, Director of the V&A.
This first association with the V&A further strengthens the Group’s international commitment to art and culture and paves the way to an inspiring dialogue around creative ideas. “Taking a singular position within the global world of museums, the V&A showcases the power with which design has been accompanying the life of humans for thousands of years.
The V&A Engineering Season illustrates the role of design and technology, and thus broadens our understanding of art in a truly fascinating way.