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Fear & Love

  • Fear & Love
  • Fear & Love
  • Fear & Love
  • Fear & Love
  • Fear & Love

Sam Jacob Studio has recently completed the exhibition design for the inaugural show at the new Design Museum in London. The exhibition, titled ‘Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World’ features 11 original installations by designers encompassing a diverse range of disciplines and subject matter including OMA/AMO, Hussein Chalayan, Andrés Jaque and Metahaven.

The exhibition asserts that design is deeply connected not just to commerce and culture but to urgent underlying issues – issues that inspire fear and love. This is a bold, multidisciplinary and global exhibition that aims to capture the mood of the present and establish the Design Museum as the home of design debate.

The whole design plays on the ambiguity at the heart of the exhibition, creating a curving 'soft baroque' plan. A single 190-metre long PVC curtain winds its way through the gallery to create a variety of opposing spatial sensations with a controlled consistency.

Materially, the design uses a simple palette of curtains to create a visual language that is not easily placed. Dark grey translucent PVC gives a futuristic and industrial feel, while its sharp and sinuous folds suggest a sense of luxury. This is contrasted with a Kvadrat felt curtain that gives sensations of both warmth and texture. The combination of these materials creates rich and varying effects of translucency and enclosure.

Signage and communication was developed with graphic designers OK-RM. Information is displayed on freestanding custom-designed bent-steel frames that recall street furniture, while a passivated finish gives an unusual iridescent effect.


Architects | Sam Jacob Studio, London, UK 
Location | Design Museum, London, UK
Technical info | Translucent PVC
Picture credits | Max Creasy