This 2-week pop up exhibition continues the 150-year anniversary celebrations of ‘our favourite high street store’, looking at this retail giant’s remarkable influence on our British shopping landscape.
From washing machines to radios, clothes to kitchen utensils, the exhibition explores the design stores behind some of the most popular products in British high street history.
In a 4-part showcase, incorporating over a 100 products sold at John Lewis over the years, the exhibition gives valuable insight into the symbiotic relationship that exists between designer, retailer and consumer:
Design Archetypes features a series of instantly recognisable products - products like the teapot that are crafted so finely it’s almost impossible to imagine them changing dramatically. We’re so seduced by their familiarity that we rarely stop to consider the supreme effort that goes into creating such deceptively simple objects. (Spot our Anglepoise Type1228 lamp in the top picture.)
Thanks to the domestic revolution, it’s easy to forget just how arduous chores like washing, cooking and cleaning used to be. Keeping House charts the remarkable impact of technological advance on these everyday household tasks.
With the plethora of options available today, colour, shape, material and style naturally guide our shopping choices, as do more complex notions of status and self-expression. Choice by Design focuses on the decision-making process and raises an important question: do retailers shape our desire for choice or is it something we demand?
Part 4, Evolution of a Product Type focuses on the transformation of home audio equipment to demonstrate just how significantly cutting-edge technology has transformed the appearance and performance of familiar devices.
John Lewis: How we Live Today is on now at the Design Museum in London and runs until 21 September 2014.
Photos: Luke Hayes