If you are a fashion lover feeling inspired by the Olympics then get yourself down to the Design Museum in London for an exhibition of new technologies, fashions and sporting equipment, all of which have transformed sporting enterprise. The new exhibition, ‘Designed to Win’ looks at exactly that – the ways in which design and sport are combined to produce optimum performance.
News of this reminded me of another London exhibition I saw some time ago, Fashion Vs. Sport at the V&A Museum. Looking this up I was shocked to see that it ran four years ago, at the time of the last Olympics, doesn’t time fly! There is something very cool and dynamic about sporty design. A good piece of sportswear should make you want to get moving. It is not just fashion and clothing that the exhibition covers though, no ‘Designed to Win’ also features anything from the design of the F1 cars to carbon fibre javelins.
The exhibition highlights examples where sporting bodies have intervened to limit the effects of 'technological doping', where new equipment is deemed to give some athletes an unfair advantage over others. Raising the question, where does human ability stop and the contest between designers, scientists and engineers begin? A (male) friend watching the Olympics commented on why the female runners weren’t wearing much. I said that you wouldn’t want clothes billowing and slowing you down, nor would you want anything uncomfortable. Clearly clothing is important for a good performance.
Advances in sports training, sportswear and health science have resulted in enhanced performance and a greater understanding of the human body. ‘Design to Win’ also looks at how design has revolutionised sports opportunities for people with physical impairments. Film clips, photography, models and interviews will be on display alongside interactive displays, sporting equipment and timelines. Alex Newson Exhibition Curator commented: 'From Formula 1 to Oakley's ground breaking lenses, design has touched and shaped sport as we know it today. The link between design and sport is inescapable and this exhibition is a timely celebration of this synergy.'