Royal College of Art hosts Festival of Britain book launch and exhibition.
05 May 2011
Professor Jonathan Woodham and Deputy Curator Lesley Whitworth represented the Design Archives at a book launch taking place at the Royal College of Art in London. Author Henrietta Goodden carried out part of the research for 'The Lion and The Unicorn: Symbolic Architecture for the Festival of Britain, 1951' in the Design Archives, and has used a selection of the Archives’ images in the finished publication (Unicorn Press, 2011).
Architect Robert Goodden, the author’s father, was appointed professor at the RCA in 1948 and, with Dick Russell, accepted the commission to design both the exterior and the interior of what would become the Lion and the Unicorn pavilion on the Festival’s South Bank site, with the input of other colleagues and students of the college. The book deals with the enduring design challenge of encapsulating national identity, and the parallel challenge of popularising a satisfying British variant of European modernism. These themes have been brought out in the accompanying exhibition.