It was my first time at CSM, I was going to see the exhibition about the 100 years of female designers. All of them had studied or worked at CSM. I was really expecting a great and striking recompilation of the best designs from a college with such reputation. As soon as I got inside that overwhelming building, I saw a display cabinet with a wide range of designs from all fields, I guessed it was going to be better than what I expected. Nevertheless, what was my surprise when I found out that that previous glass cabinet I had seen at the entrance was the whole exhibition. Despite, that disappointing fact, I reminded myself that it was about the best female designs from the last 100 years, so I would be gripping anyway, short but gripping.
The whole exhibition was concentrated in roughly five meters. In other words, the role of women in design was summarised in slightly 30 different pieces of work, which inevitably made me think of the still underrated importance of women in design as in many other disciplines. Everybody talks about the lower salaries they get and how few of them reach a high position in companies, but the problem begins with the underestimate recognition they from exhibitions and shows until the prizes they get in award ceremonies. The CSM exhibition expected to balance this disparities between genders, yet, in my opinion, they did not succeed.
Firstly, the most important thing in an exhibition is how it is displayed. In this case, all the works were overlaying in front of others, with not enough space between one design and other. It really looked like they tried to make everything fit in the limited space they had. This, obviously does not do any favour to the designs, as it becomes rumpled, untidy and not appealing to the eye.
The second most important aspect is probably the information given to the spectator. That is to say: designer, year, title and bare description of the work. Unfortunately, they did not have space enough to properly include and acknowledge the work of all those designers as their name were completely missing for most of the pieces and there was only a paper with a complicated croquis. Probably, it was so complicated to identify the pieces due to how messy they were collocated.
Thirdly, the order in which the pieces of work were displayed was another great mystery. No clue whether it was chronologically or alphabetically or, perhaps, randomly. This key point, would have helped to see which one was the itinerary of the exhibition, if it was going from the oldest design to the newest one or the other way around, and see, therefore, its evolution.
Nevertheless, there were a couple of pieces that specially caught my eye. The first one was a paper with what seemed to be a QR code in red. For this particular piece, would have been very interesting to know the date of its creation and see since when there is people creating such codes for different purposes.
The second serie of pieces I liked were a group of three different patters that looked very contemporaneous due to its simplicity, geometry and the colours used. It could have been a great chance to show the spectator the application of those patters, however, they were just hanging out under some more posters.
In conclusion, the exhibition could have been a great way to make justice for female designers, however it looked to me like a missed opportunity basically destroyed by its short duration and the poor information received. Yet some compelling and engaging pieces of work that made the exhibition worth a C grade instead of a fail.