As part of this year’s programme of events under the theme ‘Gendering Technology’, GMM students and lecturers took a study visit to London’s Victoria & Albert museum. In the morning we visited the special exhibition ‘Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt’, which was prefaced by an introduction from exhibition curator Marie Foulston. In the afternoon we were introduced to the V&A’s brand new Photography Centre by Dr Mihaela Brebenel. Dr Brebenel also provided students with information about specific exhibits and questions to consider throughout the visit.
The ‘Videogames’ exhibition delved into one of the most significant design fields of our time, investigating the work of groundbreaking designers, creative player communities and the critical conversations that define the medium today. In addition to exploring other themes in games design, students were able to observe how gendered representation, gendered production, and gendered reception interact in the process of making video games. Students were also asked to consider how digital culture and its artefacts are presented in an institutional space like a museum, within a temporary exhibition (Videogames) and as part of the permanent collection (the Photography Centre). Following the transfer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) Collection, which has enabled a dramatic reimagining of the way photography is presented at the V&A, the new Photography Centre opened on 12th October 2018. The V&A’s photography collection comprises over 300,000 images dating from 1839 to the present, and the first phase of the centre will more than double the space dedicated to photography at the Museum.
You can find a selection of images from the study visit below.