Water Futures Design Challenge, A/D/O New York, 5 - 25 April 2019
As part of the Water Futures Research Programme curated by Jane Withers, A/D/O hosted an open call inviting multi-disciplinary teams from around the world to propose new solutions for how water is accessed, delivered, and thought about in cities. Proposals spanned everything from new ideas for urban infrastructure to growing alternatives for plastic bottles. An expert jury selected nine semi-finalists out of 2000 submissions from over 35 countries which will be showcased in this closing exhibition of the Water Futures programme. Viewers are invited to vote on the Audience Choice Award by April 25. View
Wonderwater @ Triennale Caffè at Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, XXII Triennale di Milano, 1 March - 1 September 2019
As part of Broken Nature, Wonderwater is designed in collaboration with King’s Water Hub to raise awareness of the water footprint and encourage visitors to think about the impact of what we eat on local and global water resources. Curated by Paola Antonelli, Broken Nature studies the state of the relationship between humans and their natural environments, and celebrates design’s ability to offer powerful insight into the key issues of our age. Jane will participate in the Broken Nature public symposium at La Triennale di Milano on 1 March. View
Water Futures talk, Design Museum London, 20 November 2018
Coinciding with Beazley Designs of the Year and hosted by Jane Withers, the event will feature presentations and discussions by designers and organisations responding to the drinking water crisis and will explore the ongoing, multidimensional relationship between drinking water, city life, and its future possibilities, encouraging an imaginative and human-centric design approach to promoting and improving drinking water awareness worldwide. This event forms part of the Water Futures programme at A/D/O New York, a year-long programme curated by Jane Withers Studio. View
Reimagining Urban Water, A/D/O New York, 9 October - 15 November 2018
‘Reimagining Urban Water’ is presented by the A/D/O Water Futures Research Programme, curated by Jane Withers Studio. Marking the midway point in Water Futures, the exhibition presents three new proposals by Tei Carpenter and Chris Woebken, Studio Swine, and OOZE. The proposals explore off-grid thinking and small-scale infrastructures that include new ways to harvest rainwater, clean wastewater at a local level, and provide free drinking water as an alternative to the scourge of plastic bottles. The exhibition aims to reinvigorate the relationship urban residents have with water by weaving water more visibly and imaginatively into cities and our lives. View
The London Fountain Co. launch, 15 - 23 September 2018
The London Fountain Co. -- an initiative founded by Jane Withers and Charles Asprey -- will launch its first fountain in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A for London Design Festival 2018. The Fleet Drinking Fountain, designed by Michael Anastassiades, is intended as a robust addition to the streetscape for refilling bottles as well as drinking. The second fountain, supported by South Kensington Estates, will be installed in front of South Kensington station on Thurloe Place in 2019. View
Jane Withers in conversation at the Serpentine Pavilion, 12 September 2018
Exploring water in relation to contemporary and historic architecture, Aesop and Jane Withers invite practitioners and architects to the Serpentine Pavilion for a discussion on changing attitudes in the context of the mounting water crisis. This talk will examine water as a catalyst for community as well as in relation to the body, bathing and renewed interest in the bathhouse.
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 15 – 23 September 2018
For London Design Festival 2018, Jane Withers Studio has curated the Brompton Design District with the theme ‘Material Consequences’. The programme will showcase design projects that question and rethink attitudes to materials and waste, and the shift to a circular economy. A talks and events programme will accompany the exhibits in the district. View
Thought Starters Podcast, June 2018
As part of their podcast programme at White City Place, Jane Withers and Brent Dzekciorius discussed the circular economy. Thought Starters is a podcast about the business of creativity, featuring one-on-one conversations between visionaries, rising stars and leading journalists working in media, technology, fashion, design and beyond. View
Clerkenwell Design Week, May 2018
As part of 'Conversations' at Clerkenwell', Jane participated in the conversation with Max Fraser and Sophie Thomas on 'Myths of Sustainability'. Are the materials we think are harmless in fact the opposite? The talk took a closer look at the confusing and often conflicting messages on sustainability to dispel some of these myths.
The Design Prize, April 2018
Jane Withers has won The Design Prize in the 'Experimentation' category for the Water Futures research programme at A/D/O, which addresses urgent issues around the drinking water crisis. Winners were announced in Milan during Salone del Mobile 2018. View
Really: circular by design, Salone del Mobile, 17 - 22 April 2018
For the second year, we have curated the Really exhibition with Kvadrat, inviting Raw-Edges Design Studio, Front, Benjamin Hubert | LAYER, Christien Meindertsma, Jo Nagasaka, Claesson Koivisto Rune and Jonathan Olivares to create projects with Solid Textile Board and Acoustic Textile Felt. View
A/D/O Water Futures Launch Symposium, New York, 21 March 2018
The A/D/O Water Futures Research Program launches with a symposium on 21st March, including water experts, designers, and speakers from around the world and the New York area. Responding to the tensions around water in the urban environment and the shift for cities to ban the single use disposable plastic bottle, the Water Futures Research Program aims to inspire designers to take action in reimagining our toxic drinking water culture and design alternative realities. View
Brainstorm Design, Singapore, 8 March 2018
Jane participated on the panel 'Sustainability x Design', asking how we can design products, environments, and services that comply with principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability. The panel included Jane Withers, Beatrix Ong, Daan Roosegaarde, and was moderated by Pei-Ru Keh, New York Editor of Wallpaper* and Co-chair of Brainstorm Design. View
Water Futures at A/D/O, New York, 2018 - 2019
Water Futures at A/D/O New York is a year-long programme we are curating which addresses the drinking water crisis and challenges designers to design an alternative future. The programme's exhibitions, events and symposiums will provide the design community with new insight into this critical water issue, fostering cross-disciplinary collaborations and illuminating areas where design can play a central role in shaping its future. View
V & A Friday Late, 'Every Last Drop', 27 October 2017
Corinne Mynatt from Jane Withers Studio gave a tour of the V&A collections, showing how ideas embedded in historical objects might be relevant today, and inspire alternative practices to help us use water more responsibly and imaginatively. The tour finished with a water tasting by Arabeschi di Latte. View
Brompton Design District 2017, London Design Festival, 16 - 24 September 2017
For our theme this year 'Other Stories - alternative perspectives' we explored the stories behind design and making bringing together work by designers and practitioners who have in common the desire to expand the remit of design and stretch the imagination beyond product. The programme was the biggest yet, taking over three townhouses on Cromwell Place and other locations in Brompton. View
'A problem becomes an idea', Interwoven: the Fabric of Things, August 2017
Jane interviewed Wickie Meier Engström, founder of Really, for Interwoven, about the research and design activity surrounding textile waste. View
'What to see at this year's London Design Festival', Luxury London, 28 August 2017
Jane was interviewed by Luxury London on this year's Brompton Design District, as one of London's must-see destinations during London Design Festival. View
Home Revisited Awards ceremony, Helsinki Design Week, 6 September 2017
The awards ceremony for the ASKO Foundation Home Revisited design competition will take place on the 6th September during Helsinki Design Week. The ceremony will open the finalists' exhibition. Jane took part in the jury to select the shortlisted projects. The exhibition will be open to the public from the 7th September to the 22nd October 2017. More here.
MA Curating Contemporary Design, Kingston University
As visiting lecturer for the Making the Modern World module, Jane initiated a project to devise a campaign to get Kingston Univerity School of Art to shift away from the plastic water bottle to a refill culture. One group staged a ‘curated dinner ‘ for invited guests that takes place in a dystopian future in 2050, when there is more plastic than fish in the sea and plastic has gradually infiltrated the food chain.
Really: Designing Materials for Circularity at Salone del Mobile, 4 April 2017 – 9 April 2017
Continuing our work with Danish textile leader Kvadrat, we were engaged to launch Really, a new initiative in partnership with Kvadrat to upcycle end-of-life textiles into new materials for design and architecture. For its debut collection we have co-curated Really: Designing Materials for Circularity, which includes the first in a series of commissions by Christien Meindertsma and Max Lamb and an accompanying publication. Join us on the 05 April for a panel discussion focussing on the first Really commissions and designing for a circular economy. More here.
Utopia vs. Dystopia: A Festival at A/D/O on Designing Our Imagined Futures
In January A/D/O, a new space for design in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, hosted a three-day festival of talks, films and experiential programming, kicking off the first season of the A/D/O Design Academy. During the festival Jane spoke as part of 'Utopian Visions on Equality through Design', a panel discussion exploring how design can be used as a tool to drive forward societal change.
Home Revisited Competition, Asko Foundation
Launched by the Asko Foundation to celebrate their 50th anniversary, this new design competition strives to create new innovations for the home of the future. Jane has been part of the jury selecting the shortlisted projects which will be exhibited during Helsinki Design Week 2017.
Designblok Prague 2016
Jane has been invited to be part of the prestigious jury of curators and journalists selecting the winners of the European diploma graduate projects competition co-organised with ENUNIC and now in its third year. Find out who they chose out of the 37 finalists here
Soak, Steam, Dream: Reinventing Bathing Culture, Roca London Gallery, 16 September 2016 - 28 January 2017
The exhibition – a sequel to 2014-15s Urban Plunge also at Roca – explores a renewed interest in the connection between the physical, meditative and social aspects of bathing through contemporary projects by leading architects and designers. From Peter Zumthor’s Vals thermal baths to H3T’s guerilla saunas, the exhibition examines this new bathhouse culture, and how it can help us revalue and reconnect to water. Find out more about the exhibition here.
Price of Water, 25 October 2016
Jane spoke as part of The Empire Remains Shop, a public installation and three-month-long programme curated by London-based duo Cooking Sections, tracing the imperial history of global food and agriculture networks.
Architects reimagine bathing - from guerilla saunas to pop-up bath houses, Roca London Gallery, 11 October 2016
At a special event for the exhibition Soak, Steam, Dream: Reinventing Bathing Culture, Jane chaired a talk featuring two architecture practices in the exhibition, H3T Architekti from Prague and Something & Son from London. The exhibition's designers, Kellenberger-White, also spoke about how they captured the sensorial spirit of bathing in their transformation of the gallery.
Selfridges Project Ocean at the Ocean Awards 2016
At The Ocean Awards 2016, Selfridges was honoured with the Corporate and Social Responsibility Award for its Project Ocean 2015 initiative with our exhibition on marine plastic pollution and Water Bar inviting shoppers to ‘imagine life without the plastic bottle’. Find out more here.
Urban Plunge: New designs for natural swimming in our cities, Roca Barcelona Gallery, 26 January – 23 April 2016
Following on from our London exhibition in 2014, Urban Plunge opens in Roca Barcelona Gallery with new additions including OAB’s proposal for a swimming pool bridge in Barcelona’s River Besos, and the Urban Plunge Competition Barcelona, showcasing four great projects from Catalonia’s architectural schools, which propose natural baths in the old port and Barcelona’s river. Press Release
Robin Day Works in Wood, V&A Museum, London Design Festival, 19 September – 4 October 2015
To celebrate the renowned furniture designer’s centenary year, we have curated an exhibition focusing on Robin Day’s use of wood, a significant but little explored aspect of his work. Echoing Day’s childhood growing up in the woods of High Wycombe, Turner Prize nominees, Assemble have created a playful forest of timber plinths juxtaposing previously unseen personal objects alongside recognisable pieces. Press release
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 19 – 27 September 2015
The Brompton Design District continues its programme with a series of engaging pop-ups curated by Jane Withers. Highlights include: The Voice of Things, a project curated by Sarah van Gameren and Phillipe Malouin, co-tutors of Platform 18 at the RCA, Pia Wustenberg’s OBJECT RELATIONS asking us to consider process as well as the finished object and Marmoreal by Max Lamb for Dzek. Press release
Selfridges Project Ocean Exhibition and Water Bar until 3 September 2015
As part of Selfridges Project Ocean we have curated an exhibition which focuses on the critical issue of marine plastic pollution and proposes ways that we can all be part of cleaning up our ocean. Projects include Studio Swine’s Gyrecraft – a record of the designers journey to the North Atlantic gyre – and Water Bar by Arabeschi di Latte where we look at alternatives to the perfidious plastic water bottle.
Room on the Roof, De Bijenkorf Amsterdam from January 2015
Room on the Roof is an artist in residence project held in the tower of De Bijenkorf’s Amsterdam store, recently renovated by interior architects i29 to create an aerial studio. Artist Maarten Baas is the first to use the space, and his installation ‘My Latest Work’ inspired by the clock tower on neighbouring Beurs Van Berlage is on show in De Bijenkorf’s windows on Dam Square until 10 January. For information on future artists in residence visit the dedicated website.
Urban Plunge extended
The exhibition 'Urban Plunge: New designs for natural swimming in our cities' at Roca London Gallery has been extended until 7 February 2015.
Designing the future urban swimming experience, 5 November 2014
In conjunction with the exhibition Urban Plunge, architects from Copenhagen, Rotterdam and London explore the future of urban swimming, discussing designs that facilitate positive change and their visions for reclaiming city waterways. Join us for an evening with the architects who are transforming urban waters, from river baths to natural bathing ponds, with presentations from JDS Architects, Ooze, Studio Octopi and Jane Withers, curator of Urban Plunge.Support has been given by the Danish Arts Foundation, The Embassy of Denmark, London and King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership.
Urban Plunge: New Designs for Natural Swimming in Our Cities, Roca London Gallery, 11 September 2014 –10 January 2015
This new exhibition curated by Jane explores the growing urban swimming movement through a series of proposals for river and harbour baths in London, New York and Copenhagen that envisage imaginative new ways to enjoy urban water environments. The exhibition showcases architectural interventions for swimming in clean natural waters in the heart of our cities. With built projects exhibited alongside future visions for new water leisure spaces, Urban Plunge aims to show how designers are challenging our attitude to the urban water environment and showing how water can enrich urban experience. Press Release
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 13 – 21 September 2014
This year the Brompton Design District programme looks at the growing influence of craft on design, and renewed interest in the passion and skill required to make things. Alongside the exhibits by leading design showrooms, the District’s use of unusual spaces for the pop-up programme curated by Jane Withers adds to the energy and dynamism of the district. This year these take place in a series of garages in the area. Press release
DAMnº Magazine #43, March 2014
Jane’s article ‘Cleaner, Clearer, Brighter, Better: On the future of water everywhere’ surveys a selection of recent projects that show how experimental thinking aims to help change the way we approach environmental challenges and think about and respect our water environment. Read the article online here
Book Launch – Interwoven: Kvadrat Textile and Design, 28 October 2013
Jane’s contribution to Kvadrat’s new book released this month, the essay ‘Between artifice and nature: colour since the 1960s’ explores how the use of colour in design has developed in relation to the history of Kvadrat’s innovative textile colour palettes. With graphic design by Graphic Thought Facility and Peter Saville the book will also feature a cover bound in bespoke woollen cloth. Read an excerpt of the essay on Disegno.
The Brompton Pitch, 19 – 21 September 2013
The Brompton Pitch is an open air showcase for design on Exhibition Road curated by Jane Withers and Johanna Agerman Ross and produced by Brompton Design District in collaboration with Disegno. This year participants included Casting London, Fixperts, Phil Cuttance, Studio Chehade, Okolo and Disegno. Watch Casting London manufacture their pedel powered souvenirs on-site on Exhibition Road in their vimeo film of the project here, and for more information read Disegno's overview of the project.
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 14 – 22 September 2013
This year the Brompton Design District programme expands its role as a platform for new design and a leading event during London Design Festival with engaging events from the design showrooms in Brompton Cross to the District’s innovative Pop-Up programme curated by Jane Withers. Press release
Surface Tension: The Future of Water tours to the Kitchener Museum, Canada, 20 September 2013 – 26 January 2014
Co-curated by Ralph Borland, Michael John Gorman, Bruce Misstear and Jane Withers, this cross disciplinary exhibition exploring the future of water previously in Dublin and New York opens at the Kitchener Museum in Ontario, Canada on 20 September.
Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 18 July – 13 October 2013
Celebrating the architect’s 80th year the exhibition, co-curated by the RA’s Jeremy Melvin and Jane Withers, aims to reveal the ideas behind some of the most radical and pioneering buildings of the 20th Century including the Centre Pompidou and Lloyd’s of London. Using previously unseen archival material, original drawings, sketchbooks and personal objects Roger’s life and career are examined in relation to his influential work as a speaker, writer and political activist.
The Art Newspaper Special Report: Design, February 2013
Jane’s contribution to The Art Newspaper special design issue this month describes some of the current themes designers are grappling with, exploring the work of those that are set to make a lasting impression. Read the full article here
Pad Prize 2012
Jane was part of the selection commitee for the PAD Prize 2012, along with Claire Catterall and Nigel Coates. Five young and experimental designers were chosen by the commitee, Kieren Jones, Will Shannon, Kim Thome, Lola Lely and Yuri Suzuki and given the opportunity to exhibit their work at the fair. Congratulations to Will Shannon who was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious award by the panel of judges.
4 Cromwell Place, Brompton Design District, 17 - 23 September 2012
This year Brompton Design District is stronger than ever with 4 Cromwell Place, which has become a temporary platform for an eclectic gathering of experimental designers, thinkers and makers whose preoccupation is distilling riches from the details of the everyday. Exhibitors include Design Marketo & Haptic Thought, Martino Gamper, Wonder Cabinets of Europe and Oyuna in collaboration with Peter Marigold. Press release
Wonderwater Cafe London, 12 – 23 September 2012
Wonderwater Cafe comes to Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch for the London Design Festival. Leila McAlister’s responsibly sourced and seasonal menu will be utilised to illustrate how much water it takes to produce our favourite foods, and highlight the importance of considering the water footprint when making culinary decisions.What is the water footprint of Leila’s delicious eggs with sage? Visit Leila’s Shop at 15 -17 Calvert Avenue, EC2 7JP. Press release
Food Culture, 30 June 2012 - 13 January 2013
Our Wonderwater Cafe project has been invited to be part of Food Culture, an exhibition at Designhuis in the Netherlands. Curated by innovative eating designer Marije Vogelzang, the exhibition presents projects that illustrate the relationship between design and food, showing the role design can play in understanding issues around what and how we eat. More on Premsela’s website here
Wonderwater Cafe Kiasma, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 22 May – 16 September 2012
As part of Helsinki World Design Capital 2012, this pop-up cafe is designed to raise awareness of the water footprint and encourage us to think about the impact of what we eat on local and global water resources. Press release
Wonderwater Frozen Lights Helsinki
Wonderwater Frozen Lights, our first Wonderwater project in Helsinki, is an installation of ice lanterns in Helsinki’s Senate Square to mark the Open Doors Weekend of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. Alongside lanterns by renowned designers, everyone is invited to participate. To raise awareness of the water footprint, the lanterns visualise the daily water usage per person in Finland. Press release
Surface Tension: The Future of Water, Science Gallery Dublin, 20 October 2011 – 20 January 2012
Disposable and sacred; a source of healing and a source of conflict, water is a tempestuous and increasingly urgent theme. This major exhibition, co-curated by Ralph Borland, Michael John Gorman, Bruce Misstear and Jane Withers, will attempt to address the issues surrounding the future of water through innovations, inventions, artworks and artifacts that reveal the different ways water is used and perceived.The exhibition will travel to New York where it will be shown at Eyebeam Center during the World Science Festival from May 30th to June 3rd and stay on for two months after that. For more information, watch the video report by the Irish Times here. Press release
Wonderwater Cafe Tian Hai, Beijing Design Week, 27 September – 2 October 2011
The first Wonderwater event, a pop-up cafe will take over an existing Chinese restaurant, Tian Hai and is designed to raise awareness of the water footprint. Curated by Jane and Kari Korkman, founder of Helsinki Design Week the cafe seeks to promote debate around the value of water whilst making us think about the impact of what we eat on local and global consumption. Wonderwater at Tian Hai is a prelude to Wonderwater in Helsinki 2012, a year long project on water and desig for a sustainable future for the Helsinki World Design Capital 2012.Read more about the Wonderwater Cafe in Beijing here
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 22 – 25 September 2011
Now in its 5th year, Brompton Design District promises a strong line up with an international focus. A pop-up programme of experimental design events will see the colonizing of a series of unexpected venues around Brompton by designers including Flock, OKAY Studio and the Marion Friedmann Gallery. Press release
Selfridges EveryDayDutch, 24 February – 27 March 2011
Dutch design has been in the spotlight for over a decade but what makes it so compelling? This new exhibition curated by Jane for Selfridges proposes that at its core is the ability to bring imagination to ‘everydayness’. Part temporary shop, part installation with a showcase of concepts by five recent graduates from the Design Academy Eindhoven, EverydayDutch features work by designers including Aldo Bakker, Ineke Hans, Piet Hein Eek and Jo Meesters that reinvent everyday things. Press release
Dark Volumes: Light Matters, Royal College of Art, 29 September 2010
Jane, along with lighting expert Jonathan Speirs and artist David Batchelor, are speakers at the publication launch of Light Volumes, Dark Matters by Claudia Dutson, at the Royal College of Art in association with the Megaman Charity Trust.
Brompton Design District, London Design Festival, 18-26 September 2010
As consultants to Brompton Design District, now in its 4th year, we are delighted that this year’s programme is stronger than ever – a creative design hub where experimental thinking and innovative retail meet. Highlights include SuperNatural, a food and design event celebrating new urbanism by Faye Toogood at the Garage, North Terrace. Press release
Selldorf Architects Monograph, Monacelli Press 2009
Jane has contributed the introductory essay to the monograph on leading American architect Annabelle Selldorf, recognised for projects from art galleries, to important historic renovations, to a 20-storey Manhattan tower. Read the essay here.
In Praise of Shadows: New European Lighting Design, London Design Festival at the V&A, 19 September –18 October 2009
Camping amid the amazing furniture and artefacts in the darkened Jones Gallery at the V&A, In Praise of Shadows, supported by the European Commission, explores new European lighting design, the potential of low-energy and alternative energy sources, and how we think about light and darkness.
Megaman Talk: In Praise of Shadows, Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A, 23 September 2009
A discussion to accompany In Praise of Shadows with practitioners and experts exploring the impact of regulation change.
Double Dutch: Appetites & Emotions, 15 – 19 September 2008
Staged in a guerrilla shop in South Kensington, this exhibition shows how design can be used to bring symbolism, sensuality and meaning to flowers. Read more about the exhibition here
1% Water & Our Future, Z33 Belgium, 26 June – 28 September 2008
The first exhibition of the 1% Water project will explore our relation to water, ideas that are shaping current change, and how this is being translated in designs and concepts that pave the way to a sustainable future.
Natural History, Selfridges, 2008
An exhibition of jewellery design curated by Jane in Selfridges Wonder Wall, and showcasing four young designers with very different takes on nature and the boundaries between nature and artifice.
Selfridges A Book of Wonder, Violette Editions, 2007
To celebrate the opening of Selfridges' Wonder Room we have devised the concept for and co-edited 'A Book of Wonder', a encyclopaedic and illustrated volume of arcane, modern and commonplace wonders contributed by design luminaries and Selfridges customers. Press release