The V&A celebrates the life and legacy of the 20th century’s greatest engineer, Ove Arup (1895-1988), with the first ever retrospective on the philosopher-engineer. Through his pioneering philosophy of Total Design, which for him meant to ‘join all the professions right from the start’, Ove Arup redefined the way architects, designers and engineers work together. The exhibition, staged in cooperation with the global engineering and design consultancy Arup, reveals the untold stories behind some of the world’s most recognisable buildings, and shows
that without Ove Arup and his firm, projects like the Sydney Opera House, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Crossrail would never have been built. Part of the V&A Engineering Season, the exhibition features over 150 previously unseen prototypes, models, archival materials, drawings, film and photography, as well as new immersive digital displays featuring animations, simulations and augmented reality to showcase over 100 years of creativity, engineering and architectural design.
Ove Arup was the pioneer of a multidisciplinary approach to design that has defined the way engineering is practiced today. Training first in philosophy, and with a highly poetic and imaginative sense of design, Ove revolutionised the fields of civil and structural engineering. The V&A presents a selection of Arup’s ground-breaking projects over the last century, including collaborations with leading architects like Berthold Lubetkin, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. It also explores the pioneering work undertaken by Arup worldwide today, including major infrastructure projects like Crossrail, currently Europe’s largest underground railway, innovative technologies for acoustics studies like SoundLab® and SolarLeaf, an experimental bio-reactive façade system that uses microalgae to generate renewable energy. The exhibition immerses visitors in the creative and collaborative work of engineers, architects and designers who, together, design our buildings, cities and urban systems.
Victoria and Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL