The Information on: `Stealing Beauty' at the ICA

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

The ICA's new exhibition features the work of 16 ultra-hip - some would say painfully hip - architects and designers, all of whom are searching for `a new method and meaning' in design. Subtitled "British Design Now", the show presents a snapshot of cutting-edge aesthetics, and a chance for slowcoaches to get up to speed with the Wallpaper set. Although the organisers are careful to point out that "this is not a movement", the assembled objects do have things in common, most noticeably a willingness to use and reinterpret the detritus of modern life - supermarket trolleys, lottery tickets, flyposters, industrial and office bits and bobs - in ways that would surprise even Blue Peter viewers. As curator Claire Catterall says, this is "essentially, just a load of old tat... yet somehow it's `lifted' to become something else, something new, something beautiful".

What They Say About It

"The whole show is engaging and playful, working a kind of magic on implausible materials. The beauty comes from the reinvention of familiar, inexpensive things" Annabel Freyberg, The Independent. "The message is that, with a bit of imagination, anyone can afford the best in cutting-edge design. Time to start saving those washing-up liquid bottles?" Martin Coomer, Time Out.

Where You Can See It

ICA, The Mall, London SW1 (0171-930 3647) to 23 May.