Britain Can Make It: The 1946 Exhibition of Modern Design

Diane Bilbey (Editor)

Foreword by Sir Terence Conran

This publication is a highly visual celebration of the massively popular, but now largely forgotten, Britain Can Make It exhibition. Organised by the Council of Industrial Design, it was held in empty ground-floor galleries of the Victoria & Albert Museum, from September to December 1946. A ground-breaking, morale boosting exhibition, it showcased British design and manufacturing. Despite its short run, it boasted an incredible 1.4 million visitors, and remains one of the most visited exhibitions ever held at the V&A.

By taking its structure loosely from the exhibition itself and from the accompanying Design ’46 catalogue, Britain Can Make It will take the reader through an eclectic range of subject areas and consumer products. The book begins with a discussion of the political climate and economic motivations that led to this exhibition of ‘National Importance’ taking place, and an overview of the contemporary social context. Additional essays will cover specific aspects of the exhibition itself, including the surrealist design of the exhibition, the art and artists involved, the naming, and the ‘Design Quiz’. Most chapters will be in the form of short illustrated essays.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published by Paul Holberton Publishing (1 Mar. 2019)
ISBN 9781911300540
21.59 x 2.29 x 25.4 cm