UK Museum plans design exhibition in India

New Delhi: If things go as planned, the prestigious London-based Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) may soon be finalising a series of collaborations with the Indian art fraternity. The museum is said to hold the world`s largest collection of decorative arts and design including sculpture, art, textiles etc from India.

Foremost in the museum`s plans is an exhibition in India, which showcases the country`s contemporary design disciplines across various fields like architecture, furniture, product design, industrial design, fashion, jewelry and craft work.

"The exhibition called `India Design Now` is going to be a design-based show. We have not decided on an opening date as we are in still researching and collecting materials from India especially between the 1850s to 1900s period. The National Institute of Design is assisting us for this exhibit," says Moira Gemmill, Director, Projects, Design and Estate, V&A.

This exhibition will first be showcased in London and then will tour the world. The UK museum, says Moira had organised similar exhibits in other countries too focusing on contemporary design work of the host country.

The V&A museum also plans to set up a certified training program in collaboration with Indian Institute of Design (NID) for museum curators and architects. .

Moira Gemmill, Director, Projects, Design and Estate, V&A, says, "Our curator in London Diviya Patel is from India and she is talking to many museums and galleries here. The V&A has recently signed a MoU with NID in Ahmedabad for providing certified training courses to curators and conservationists in the country. A five-day trial run course is going to kick start in October this year."

With funding from the Bonita Trust, the museum had in the year 2011 run training courses that focussed on restoration of old buildings, making art collection in museums safe and secure and re-displaying museum collection to appeal to modern day visitors.

"That was very successful and now we are following it up by working with NID to provide a certified training courses," says Moira.

The course is going to based on designs for museums like environmental control, security, visitor flow, interpretation, graphic design, way finding, use of colour, incorporation of contemporary architecture into 19th century buildings. Through this program V&A says it wants to reach out to conservation architects in India.

Back home in the UK, the V&A has also planned to open a new bigger gallery for their Indian collection which they expect to be opened for public viewing by 2016.