Art Review: Remembering Jan Kaplicky - Architect Of The Future @ The Design Museum

By ClaireG Last edited 109 months ago
Art Review: Remembering Jan Kaplicky - Architect Of The Future @ The Design Museum

Lords Media Centre,1999, photo credit Richard Davies.jpg
Lords Media Centre, 199 by Richard Davies courtesy of the Design Museum
This exhibition is a retrospective of the work of Jan Kaplicky; architect, designer and co-founder of Future Systems, probably the most daringly futuristic practices of our time. You will be familiar with their work; Oxford Street's New Look flagship store is a Future Systems commission, as is Floating Bridge in the Docklands and most famously the media centre at Lords cricket ground.

The beauty of this exhibit is the inclusion of many concepts and competition entries for buildings that the world will never get to see. When you see the proposal for the extension to the Natural History Museum and imagine how the transition from classic to futuristic would have worked together to form the aptly named Darwin Centre you can't help but feel a bit robbed for never getting to walk through it.

Kaplicky creates organic, futuristic forms which both blend with their environment and stand starkly apart from it. It's a shame that he didn't have more of his visions realised. As with many visionairies Kaplicky was exploring concepts and issues ahead of many of his contemporaries, with1990's Green Bird he sets out to demonstrate that high rise buildings and minimal energy consumption are compatible. The result is a phallic pre-cursor to the Gherkin which wouldn't look out of place in Anne Summers, albeit in smaller form!

The Design Museum have done a great job of curating this exhibition, presenting the works on the top floor where the natural light and panoramic river bank vista complement both the theme and models perfectly.

"Remembering Jan Kaplicky - Architect of the Future" runs until 1st November 2009, The Design Museum, £8.50/£6.50/£5 for more information go to The Design Museum website.

Last Updated 06 July 2009