Why Collect? with Priya Khanchandani 12 Dec 2018

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From Gareth Southgate’s World Cup waistcoat, to the Donald Trump Baby Blimp, the Whitechapel ‘fatberg’ and a 3D-printed gun – no sooner does an design object achieve media attention than museums seemingly begin lining up to add it to their collections. While museums have always collected contemporary objects, the collecting of objects that have a live connection to contemporary events is a growing and increasingly contested trend in museums of architecture and design.

In this series a variety of speakers reflect on the contemporary collecting practices they are involved in, exploring the motives that drive them, the contexts in which they operate, their results and impacts (both intended and otherwise), and the broader implications they have for the present and future of museums.

How much of a new departure is this type of collecting and how does it relate to ongoing contemporary collecting practices, for example in ethnography or oral history? In what ways does or can the practice reflect the changing nature of objects which now more than ever exist within complex systems and networks, digital or otherwise? What does this practice say about the changing role of museums in cultural and society?

Priya Khanchandani is Editor of Icon Magazine. She is a writer, researcher and the Curator of the India Pavilion at London Design Biennale 2018. Previously, she worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum as lead of the Design Fund for contemporary acquisitions and then as Head of Arts Programmes for India at the British Council. Priya graduated from Cambridge University in Modern Languages and went on to take an MA in the History of Design with Distinction from the Royal College of Art. She has since published widely, from Bloomsbury’s Encyclopaedia of Design to Frieze, and spoken at numerous festivals, conferences and on BBC Radio 4. Priya's arts expertise is enhanced by her postgraduate diploma in law and initial career as a lawyer at magic circle firm Clifford Chance. A former Trustee of Chisenhale Gallery, she co-runs Museum Detox, a collective campaigning for diversity in the arts, and is a Trustee of Engage. This year, she was invited to join the National Panel of the Civic Trust Awards for architecture. 

Doors open at 18:45. We are in a Grade I listed, 19th-century building, so access isn't straightforward. If you require step-free access or extra assistance, please contact us in advance of your booking on admin@soane.org.uk or 020 7405 2107.

Event details

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Talk 7–8pm

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