Marking the 20th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s death, the Design Museum, London has embarked on a major exhibition to celebrate the work of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated filmmakers.
Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is a window into the passion Kubrick poured into every aspect of the film-making process. The unique collection of artefacts not only includes original posters, scripts and storyboards but also features annotated copies of books, original clapperboards and even some of the director’s cameras.
Working closely with the Design Museum, Pentagram's Marina Willer, with the support of William Russell Architects, have produced the three-dimensional design, exhibition graphics, identity design, marketing campaign and entrance film.
The stars of the show are the costumes and props, which for the first time brings together pieces from the V&A, the Deutsche Kinemathek and items from several private collections including the Kubrick estate. This group of artefacts includes iconic pieces such as the Born to Kill helmet from Full Metal Jacket, the erotic furniture from Clockwork Orange’s Korova Milk Bar.
Drawing upon their vast experience in designing for the arts and culture sector, as well as their work on the Design Museum’s Ferrari Exhibition in 2018, Pentagram has created a space that's filled with subtle and not-so-subtle Kubrick references.
Visitors are fully immersed as soon as they enter – following the famous hotel carpet from The Shining and passing through a tunnel of screens that highlight the directors unique and precise way of framing his works using a single point perspective.
From there the visitor walks to a central 'backstage' room filled with production details, including the research, planning and design of every aspect of his films in his meticulous style. The exhibition then takes a detailed look into the universes of each of his films.
Presenting each film within its world; the colour, imagery, models, quotes, costumes and idiosyncrasies which make each of Kubrick’s works different to one another, and each film very different to the next means that the exhibition flows from style to style. The result is an experience that highlights the diverse palette of interests that Kubrick drew from to create his films.
Kubrick is known as a filmmaker who was very passionate about design. His ability to shape and predict the future of fashion, product, technology, branding and many dimensions of design and lifestyle was remarkable.
This legacy encapsulated in the opening shot of 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – an onyx monolith standing on primaeval-looking earth, has inspired over 50 years of product design; from smartphones and tablets to the aesthetics of technology that we know today. Not to mention the concept of HAL and the development of artificial intelligence, something that is growing in its incorporation within society more so now than ever before.
Exhibition Images by Ed Reeve