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Designers in Residence 2014: Disruption

Discover the design stars of the future. This year, James Christian, Ilona Gaynor, Torsten Sherwood and Patrick Stevenson-Keating have responded to the theme of Disruption by exploring future housing, judicial system loopholes, construction as play and the financial systems.

James Christian

Reimagines public living spaces

Ilona Gaynor

Fixes a National Lottery draw

Torsten Sherwood

Plays with new building blocks

Patrick Stevenson-Keating

Explores our relationship with money

What was the exhibition about?

Designers in Residence is about more than good design, or even innovation in design. It is about creating time and space in the form of a seven-month residency — and giving four UK-based designers a period of reflection, research and critical rigour away from their normal routine.

Now in its seventh year, Designers in Residence invites young designers to respond to a brief set by Deyan Sudjic, the Director of the Design Museum. For 2014, this theme is disruption. “More than most, ‘disruptive’ is a term whose meaning is dependent on the context,” says Deyan. “It’s conventionally considered almost a bad thing — difficult pupils, bad neighbours, ill-considered town planning — it is now the most sought after quality in a new product.”

The four new works that form the Designers in Residence exhibition all have disruption at their core, yet each designer has taken a markedly different approach.

Listen to James Christian, one of this year's Designers in Residence, on the theme of disruption:

Challenging convention

What was in the exhibition?

James Christian aims to disrupt the state of inertia that afflicts current British housing design by drawing inspiration from past failed housing schemes, while Ilona Gaynor disrupts the judicial system, exposing its loopholes to facilitate the staging of an illegal event. Scrutinising mechanical detail, Torsten Sherwood disrupts conventional building systems to create a new kind of children's construction toy, and Patrick Stevenson-Keating has created several new financial products as a way of highlighting our normally passive role within the global economic system — and how we could use the most mundane of financial transaction as a force for good.

What unites them all is a desire to push boundaries and ask questions of visitors to the Design Museum that neither designer nor audience may have answers ready for.

Fixing a National Lottery draw

Illona Gaynor

The legal theatre

Illona Gaynor

A new outlook on currency

Patrick Stevenson-Keating

A disruptive ATM

Patrick Stevenson-Keating

A new way to live

James Christian

Construction as play

Torsten Sherwood

Discover more


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Designer portraits by Cat Garcia | Exhibition photography by Luke Hayes