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Archived exhibition

Design Research Unit Large

Design Research Unit: 1942 – 72

19 November - 16 December 2011

Curator's Talk by Michelle Cotton: 18 November, 5.30 - 6.30pm

Artist's Talk by Turner Prize 2011 Nominee Martin Boyce: 1 December, 5.30 - 6.30pm

Preview: 18 November, 6.30 - 8pm

A Cubitt Gallery touring exhibition, curated by Michelle Cotton.

Design Research Unit: 1942-72 is a national touring exhibition about the seminal Design Research Unit group. This exhibition spans over four decades of their work, focusing on some of their most significant projects and charting their ambition to bring elegant and functional design to all sections of society. It covers three phases of activity; the group's early origins and founder members, initial work in exhibition design and the Unit's role in devising some of the first and most comprehensive corporate design schemes commissioned for British industry.

Formed in London in 1942, the Unit was responsible for some of the most important design produced in post-war Britain. It pioneered a model for group practice, being the first consultancy in the country to bring together expertise in architecture, graphics and industrial design. By the 1970s it was one of the largest and most established design offices in Europe. This exhibition is the first of its kind, mapping the history of the group and the currency of their designs. It identifies key examples of their work and documents an approach that was shaped by inter-war developments in artistic discourse and post war trends in industry and communication; in particular the accelerated demand for corporate design.

Read an article about Design Research Unit: 1942 - 72 in The Herald DRU The Herald

Read an article about Design Research Unit: 1942 - 72 in ArtWork DRU Artwork

Read an article about Design Research Unit: 1942 - 72 on FastCo website

View Press Release for Design Research Unit: 1942 - 72 Design Research Unit

Image: Founder partners and associates of the Design Research Unit, 1948. Courtesy of Scott Brownrigg.
Additional information: Standing left to right: Sadie Speight, Frederick Gibberd, Milner Gray, Dorothy Goslett, Bronek Katz, Herbert Read, Mischa Black and Clive Entwistle.