Established in 2011, the Design Fund sponsors new contemporary design acquisitions for London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Every year founder Yana Peel and chair Francis Sultana, along with London Design Festival director Ben Evans, gather their roster of patrons and friends to present the new acquisitions and encourage donations for the year ahead.
So far the fund has helped the museum acquire more than 20 pieces, creating what Peel calls 'a lasting legacy of objects that embody important design trends'.
This year's works represent both emerging talent and established names from the design world, and give an overview of contemporary techniques, futuristic machinery and human-centric design. 'This year's diverse acquisitions reflect how technological and interactive advances are being embraced to create extraordinary – and in many cases humorous – pieces of design,' says V&A director Martin Roth.
Previous acquisitions from the likes of Nendo, BCXSY and Fredrikson Stallard will be accompanied by five new projects now on display at the museum's Simon Sainsbury Gallery. Two works by ÉCAL graduates explore interactive design for the home. The 'Sketch Chair' by Swedish design studio Front was designed with a motion capture pen and produced with a 3D printing device. The 'UN Lounge Chair', used in Hella Jongerius' United Nations North Delegates lounge, unveiled in 2013, is part of the collection – as is Italian architect Matilde Cassani's 'Countryside Worship', a multidisciplinary installation originally presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
'We like to add pieces that provoke debate and conversation,' says Sultana, adding that his position of chairman for the initiative bears a special personal connection. 'As a self-taught designer, the V&A was significant for me as a young person, and I am grateful to be able to give something back.'