Monday, 16 June 2008

From Atoms to Patterns

Yesterday afternoon P took me to see From Atoms to Patterns, at the Wellcome Collection.

It's a fascinating look at the work of the Festival Pattern Group, a collaboration between scientists and manufacturers for the 1951 Festival of Britain. The project was conceived by Dr Helen Megaw, a leading crystallographer, and made possible by the Council of Industrial Design.

X-ray crystallography was one of the most exciting branches of post-war science and by studying X-ray diffraction photographs of crystals, scientists could calculate the arrangement of atoms within molecules. The resulting diagrams of atomic structures provided the inspiration for the Festival Pattern Group who created wonderful patterns which were used in a number of ways for the Festival of Britain.

Twenty eight manufacturers took part and 80 designs were produced. These included work in glass, ceramics, metal, plastics, textiles and wallpaper... the designs are tremendous.

If you're not able to visit this wonderful (and FREE) exhibition yourself, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the catalogue. It's worth every single one of twenty shiny golden pound coins...

Image 1 & 2Wellcome Collection


Kate said...

That looks great, I must get the book......
How long is the exhibition on for?

Kate said...

I'm sorry... clicking on the link might have told me the answer to that!

Robert said...

Looks a stunning show Karen - Ibolya and I must go. Wish we could get our hands on those atom wallpapers.