A Blueprint for Life: Designers photographed by Steve Speller
Past display archive
17 September 2004 - 30 March 2005
Supported by Casio in association with Blueprint magazine
Timed to coincide with the London Design Festival, this display presents twenty-one newly commissioned portraits by Steve Speller of people who have changed the way we think about everyday design.
A Blueprint for Life is a celebration of the best design around, from the UK's road signage system by Margaret Calvert to the familiar Hovis bread wrapper by Garrick Hamm. The photographs are often witty and always humanistic. No doubt you will have your own views about who should have been included in the show. Indeed, we hope the exhibition sparks a discussion about the role and quality of design in 2004.
From the designers of the Yellow Pages to the architects responsible for the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, A Blueprint for Life builds up a fascinating profile of the people who literally shape our world.
Steve Speller's colour portraits, all taken using a digital camera, show the designers alongside their work: products, graphic design and buildings that were selected because they have all in different ways improved the quality of life.
Steve Speller took his first portrait of a designer for Blueprint magazine in 1986. During the Eighties and Nineties his approach to photographing designers was important in defining the identity of the magazine, which in its early days always had a designer staring from its striking covers. This exhibition gives the opportunity to develop the genre in a way that is appropriate for the 2000s. A full-colour catalogue, including rare interviews with each designer, is available from the Gallery bookshop priced £12.95.
Steve Speller's portraits for A Blueprint for Life were commissioned for the National Portrait Gallery and this display was curated by Patrick Myles, Creative Director of Blueprint.
- London Design Festival