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Forty objects head off on loan to five regions for year three of V&A's DesignLab Nation
Fruit wallpaper pattern, on paper, Designed by William Morris, Published by Morris & Co, England, First issue © Victoria and Albert Museum.

LONDON.- Forty objects including Bradley Wiggins’ bicycle handlebars, William Morris designed wallpaper, Japanese ceramics by Yukie Osumi and a ‘Super Lamp’ by Martine Bedin will go on display at museums and galleries across the country this month, in the latest phase of the V&A’s flagship education programme DesignLab Nation.

Bringing together secondary schools, local industry and regional museums to bolster the teaching of Art, Design and Technology (D&T), the programme will expand into new towns and cities across the country in 2020, including Doncaster, Ipswich and Blackpool.

Six prints by British textile designer William Morris are now on display at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. The stories behind how and why these six prints were made will offer students insight into the Arts & Crafts movement against the backdrop of Blackburn’s world-famous manufacturing heritage.

A set of 3D-printed black titanium bicycle handlebars, used by Bradley Wiggins, are on display at Coventry Transport Museum. Made by Pinarello, they were to break Bradley Wiggins’ Hour Record on 7 June 2015, and marked the first time 3D printing was categorised by cycling’s governing body the Union Cyclist as a means of mass manufacture.

Millennium Gallery in Sheffield is showcasing silver objects by contemporary designers including Yukie Osumi, Kyosun Jung, Elizabeth Clay, Carla Nuis, Miriam Hanid, Nan Nan Liu and Ndidi Edubia, to celebrate the contributions of female designers.

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent is displaying works by ceramicists Barnaby Bartford and Stephen Dixon both well known for their strong social and political commentary in their work, in a project that explores the relationship between social commentary and pottery.

The National Glass Centre in Sunderland is celebrating the craftsmanship and beauty in lighting design. Students and visitors have the opportunity to explore eight different lamps – from historic to contemporary, including a 14th century Egyptian mosque lamp to a 20th century Memphis Group design.

Partners work closely with the V&A to select objects that showcase their local industrial heritage, celebrate the breadth and ingenuity of design and bring the subject of D&T to life. In the classroom, secondary students create their own responses to design briefs, exploring how historic and contemporary design continue to inspire. Industry partners for Year 3 include the British Ceramics Biennale and Emma Bridgewater.

Complementing the school curriculum, DesignLab Nation is delivered by specialists and professionals from local design practices, with partner museums acting as local hubs for the secondary school projects. To date, the V&A has worked with 21 schools on the project and loaned 114 objects.

Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: “Having access to the arts in school is good for attainment, good for job prospects, and good for the creative talent pipeline – yet creative subjects are being squeezed, and provision and take-up has dramatically declined over the last decade. This latest phase of DesignLab Nation, combined with our newly launched national schools programme V&A Innovate and the transformation of the V&A Museum of Childhood, reiterates our reinvigorated mission to support teachers, champion creative subjects in school and inspire the next generation.”

Emma Bridgewater, said: “Young people will be the future of our business which is why we offer apprenticeships. The V&A's DesignLab Nation is a really wonderful programme to help inspire young people and make them feel proud of the city’s manufacturing heritage. Stoke-on-Trent has seen some astonishing changes and the city’s legacy is an unparalleled and incredible one, so I’m pleased to be able to help build back up its recognition as a world capital of ceramics.”

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