Late play at the V&A

All To Play For – V&A Lates

Visitors leapt on a board as lifesize pieces to discover unbelievable truths about the V&A’s collection.

As a studio we are interested in how we can use collections to weave together information which can point to hidden histories and intangible heritage. By thinking about the materials, craftsmanship and the trading of an object we can tell stories of extinction, innovation, exploitation and lost skills. These are all elements that were brought together to shape our contribution to the V&A’s All To Play For, Friday Night Late event.

We created a playful pop-up that took over the entrance hall to the V&A gallery. It was a large-scale, high impact game devised to encourage visitors to think more deeply about some of the objects held in the museum’s collection.


Featured exhibit:

Tippoo or not Tippoo?

Tippoo or not Tippoo is a game that we devised as a social entertainment which would encourage people tohave fun, talk to strangers, discuss the V&A’s collection and think a bit more deeply about the stories that objects in the collection carry with them. 

The game was designed to be fun to play and fun to watch; easy to set up and remove; low cost and high impact. To fulfil these requirements, we made simple tabards to turn the players into game pieces, and made all the props and signage from recyclable paper. Visitors were given a small badge as a memento of playing the game.

The game has undergone new iterations since its debut at the V&A. For example, we devised an online version of the game for the ECSITE (European Network of Science Centres and Museums) conference which pitted teams from different science centres against each other to spot truths hidden among lies.

It is a idea which could be used to create a permanent playable threshold to a museum, reimagining how visitors initially access museum spaces and engage with collections

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