Cold War Modern

‘Cold War Modern’ at the V&A was the first exhibition to examine contemporary design, architecture, film and popular culture on both sides of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War era.

The exhibition brought together over 300 exhibits – from a Sputnik, and an Apollo mission space suit, to films by Stanley Kubrick, paintings by Robert Rauschenberg and Gerhard Richter, fashion by Paco Rabanne, designs by Charles and Ray Eames and Dieter Rams, architecture by Le Corbusier, Richard Buckminster Fuller and Archigram, and vehicles including a Messerschmidt micro-car. 

The exhibition was divided into eight colour-coded sections, each corresponding to the exhibition guide. The entrance expresses the East-West relationship using Richard Buckminster Fuller’s ‘Dymaxion’ map of the earth. A poignant statement, as its schematic nature questions our perception of the East-West divide. 

A modular captioning system was integrated into the display, ensuring ease of legibility and close proximity to the objects. Bibliothèque developed all graphics for the exhibition, visitor guides and promotional material. Universal Design Studio were responsible for the exhibition design.

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