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Dirty Washing

The idea of this exhibition was conceived many years ago when I worked at the Body Shop Design Studio in the early 90’s. Over the years I have had many discussions with many people in regards to making the project come alive. This eventually came to fruition in 2001. I felt that it was highly important that we didn’t just display a range of old boxes. My main interest in this subject matter is the analysis of design process + cultural influences. What was the designer thinking when he designed the box and what was he trying to communicate. When did the first modernist box design appear and what was the history of the product. What social and cultural influences determined the design output? This investigation has driven the process of the archive, which has helped bring to light the hidden history and correct the design history. The selection of graphics displayed here were created for the Dirty Washing Exhibition. The main criterion was to create a graphic language that did not appropriate the soapbox vernacular as the exhibition was about understanding it. It is all too easy to copy soapbox graphics and create more pastiche, which would have been against the spirit of what I wanted to achieve. ‘Dirty washing’ was a partially self funded project and was co-curated with Dr L Gamman with additional funding by Rodney Fitch Design + Central Saint Martins. Model Photography: Andrew G Hobbs + Aidan McCarthy. Many thanks to James Peto of the Design Museum for Believing in the project and making it happen at the Design Museum.

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