It’s all in the details

Sophie Lewis

O2 Arena (Photo: Flickr)

When it comes to design, the attention to detail that artists, designers and architects put into their work can sometimes be missed in the grand scheme of things.

A prime example is the work of costume and set designers in the theatre.

The V&A are currently displaying some of their extensive Theatre & Performance Collection, giving everyone the chance to explore the history of the theatre and get up close with the sets, costumes and props which are often too far away for the audience to truly appreciate. You focus on the actors and their performance rather than the set and the costumes – so you wouldn’t be blamed for not realising that many of the smallest details are carefully thought out. Within the V&A exhibition, there are a number of costumes from Victorian-based plays, yet when you look closely you can see how, despite being set in the same era, each costume differs in small ways to reflect the particular decade in which the play was performed. From silhouettes to sleeve design, these little details are carefully considered to perfectly merge popular designs of the day with the age it is trying to portray.

But it’s not just in the theatre where there are little details which go amiss. The same can be said for the buildings that surroundus in the City of London.

Many iconic buildings and structures that we recognise in an instant have details within in them which are bordering on genius when you learn about them.

Take the O2 Arena for example. Originally built to mark the Millennium, it has multiple references to time ingrained into it: the 12 supports visible from the roof which represent each month of the year; the dome is 52m high, matching the number of weeks in a year; and the diameter is 365m, one for each day of the year (if you ignore leap years).

Blackfriars Bridge is another such example – have you ever noticed that parts of it are designed to look like pulpits in reference to Black Friars?


Blackfriars Bridge (Photo: Wikimedia)

There are countless details that go unnoticed around us. But once you start to look closely at things you begin to realise just how much time and through designers, architects and all manner of creatives put into their designs, and it’s really quite remarkable.

Last chance to see ‘Drawn to the Future’

Anna Skovgaard Pedersen

Into architecture, technology and sci-fi? Think Augmented Reality is more interesting than an art gallery on a Saturday? Well, then the current exhibition at The Building Centre may just be something for you. The exhibition ends 3rd October though, so you need to be quick!

Drawn To The Future explores the innovative technologies that are changing the way we visualise the future and communicate new ideas. This is demonstrated through a wonderfully varied exhibition of work from digital artists, games designers, data visualisation teams, programmers, architects, engineers, academics and model-makers – all showing a different approach to how buildings, urban spaces and landscapes can be designed and presented using the new technology available.                                                                                                                                                               2015-09-09 18.50.37

You don’t have to be an architect, engineer or programmer to enjoy Drawn To The Future. The exhibition is designed to appeal to the wider public and lets you interact with many of the installations. For example, you can take a virtual reality rollercoaster ride around a fantasy city, ‘see through’ the walls at The Building Centre using an app and explore virtual environments such as the Mackintosh Library at Glasgow School of Art.

Drawn to the Future runs until 3rd October. Monday-Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm at The Building Centre. It’s free, no booking required.                                                                                                                                                                                                    2015-09-09 18.51.05

Glastonbury Watercolours


Alistair Barr from Barr Gazetas captures enormous Glastonbury sculptures in delicate watercolour.

Flying Whale

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