Thingness: The Collection

Thingness: The Collection


16 April 2013 – 25 May 2013*
Special Viewing 5.30-8pm (Talk 4.30-5.30pm)

Camberwell Space
Camberwell College of Arts
Peckham Road
London SE5 8UF


23 April, 16.30-17.30
Talk: Thingness  (Maiko Tsutsumi)
Ceramics Lecture Theatre, Pekham Road

25 April, 13.00-14.00
Talk: Artists working with archives (Chrystel Lebas)
Ceramics Lecture Theatre, Pekham Road

3 May, 10.30 12.30
Morning Residency at Camberwell Space (Committee: Harry Richardson & Clare Page)
Camberwell Space

8 May, 13.30-16.30
Workshop: Take Me Make Me (Bridget Harvey & Meghan Hutchins)
Camberwell Space (Drop-in)

16 May, 10.00-12.00
Workshop: Stuff to Savour (Tony Hayward)
Camberwell Space (Booking required)

20 May, 14.00-16.00
Workshop: Objects Stories (Karen Richmond & Michael Hurley)
Camberwell Space (Booking required)

22 May, 14.00-16.00
Talk: The History of ILEA Collection (Maria Georgaki)
Object handling session (David Garnett)
Camberwell Space (Booking required)

22 May, 17.30-18.30
Talk (Richard Wentworth)
Wilson Road Lecture Theatre, Camberwell College of Arts

(All venues except the Richard Wentworth talk are at the Peckham Road site, Camberwell College of Arts / Booking and enquiries:

Events detail


Thingness: The Collection


What role does the ‘materiality of things’ play in our relationship to the objects we create and consume?

The above question was the starting point of the Thingness exhibition and symposium, held at Camberwell College of Arts in 2011. Second in series, Thingness: The Collection presents a group of objects selected from the Camberwell Collection. Along with an accompanying series of workshops and talks, the exhibition explores the affective’ potential of objects, as well as a range of approaches by artists and designers working in response to archives and collections.

The Camberwell Collection originates from a circulating collection of the London County Council and later the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) that were brought together for educational purposes, and circulated in schools between 1951 and 1976. The collection was acquired by Camberwell College of Arts in 1990, following the disbandment of ILEA.1

Thingness: The Collection will begin with a selected group of objects. Invited artists and designers will respond to the characteristics of the objects; what they infer as their presence’ in a materialist sense, or their physiognomic appeal’.2 By shifting our attention from the intended function of the object to the thing itself’, we hope to bring to light the space between the intended meaning of objects and where the projected meanings and narratives may begin to emerge.

Using the eclectic mix of design and craft objects, the exhibition explores the relationship between the agentic potential of the thing and it’s physical features, such as the materials and the trace of its construction process, as well as its symbolic and associated meanings.


1 For more information on the history of the ILEA Collection please see: Jane Pavitt, ed., The Camberwell Collection: Object Lesson (London: Camberwell College of Arts, 1996).; Jane Pavitt, “The Camberwell Collection of Applied Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, The London Institute,” Journal of Design History, 10(2) (1997): 225-229.

2 Alfred Gell. Art and Agency: an Anthropological Theory (London: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Image_4 Image_5 Image_2 Image_3 Image_7 Image_1 Image_6 Image_8


Comments Off on Thingness: The Collection

Filed under Uncategorized



10 May  10 June 2011
Special Viewing: 12 May, 5  7pm

Camberwell Space
Camberwell College of Arts
45 – 65 Peckham Road
London SE5 8UF

Free entrance

Neil Brownsword
David Clarke
Michael Marriott
Gareth Neal
Jasper Morrison

Symposium: Thursday 26 May 2011 
To register, please email Elesa Thomoglou:
(This event is now fully booked)


What role does ‘the materiality of things’ play in our relationship to the objects we create and consume?

There is a renewed interest in what the act of making does to humans and our understanding of the object’.  Makers and designers are at a point of reflection: re-evaluating our sensitivities to objects and materials.  The exhibition and accompanying symposium reflect on how objects come to be and how the making of an object affords it ‘a voice’.  Selected works by five artists and designers explore people’s relationship with objects through materiality and the making process.

Building on Camberwell College’s reputation for ‘making’, the exhibition proposes to create a dialogue around notions of ‘the maker’, ‘the making process’ and ‘the material’. The symposium will facilitate an exchange of ideas between designers, theoreticians, makers of objects, curators, art and design historians, anthropologists, educationalists and material scientists around the theme of ‘Thingness’.

Co-curated by Karen Richmond and Maiko Tsutsumi

Thingness is supported by Camberwell College of Arts, Camberwell Press and CCW Graduate School

Comments Off on Thingness

Filed under Uncategorized