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Back of House at London Design Festival

Key details


  • External (UK)
  • This exhibition consists of two distinct venues. The first one is 'Back of House,' located at 15A Cromwell Mews, The Garage, SW7 2JX. The second exhibition venue is 'Front of House,' situated at Cromwell Place, Gallery 6, SW7 2JE.


  • Free

Who could attend

  • Everyone


  • Exhibition

Graduates of RCA Design Products exhibit emerging practices in action – projects, objects and the learning and making processes behind them.

Front-of-house and back-of-house, outcome and processes – a simple dichotomy that dominates the creative practice. Where the finished design is always bound by the imperative of conviviality, the process is an altogether different beast; sometimes chaotic, joyful or painful, always in flux.

In self-reflection we marvel at this process; concealing it to enhance a sense of magic or celebrating the visible marks it leaves. It is creative practice manifested.

This back-of-house hides many truths: on personal reflection, this is where we are most exposed and susceptible to influence, where our creative, learning self is at work. On another scale, there is a much more sinister back-of-house to hide - behind the conviviality of our products and designed interiors are often an underpaid, undermined factory worker. This is one back-of-house reality that Design is only starting to come to terms with.

In this exhibition, graduates from the Royal College of Art's Design Products program exhibit their work and the processes that made it – front and back of house.

Divided between two dedicated spaces, the exhibition features a gallery of objects and a workshop of transparent processes. Through made objects, workshops and a live studio environment, the designers claim ownership over the process, manifesting themselves as creative professionals and as learning individuals, articulating the nature of their work as it happens.

With objects and ideas moving between the spaces, this exhibition is a live working and learning environment, generating new works and new agendas; embracing design as a verb and opening up to audiences as commentators, critics and partners for discussions.

Opening Times

Mon–Sat (except Thurs): 11am–7pm
Thurs: 11am–9pm
Sun: 1am–4pm