V&A Museum Features the Google Trekker

Google Trekker on Permanent Display at the Victoria & Albert Gallery

June 18, 2021

The Whipsaw-designed Google Trekker will be on permanent display in the new Victoria & Albert gallery “Design 1900 — Now” which opens June 19, 2021. “Design 1900 — Now,” housed within the museum’s former 20th Century Gallery, will showcase an eclectic collection of objects of contemporary design. The gallery is aimed at exploring design’s “pivotal role in shaping and challenging the biggest issues of our times.”

Google Trekker on Display at Victoria & Albert Gallery

Trekker is a revolutionary backpack featuring a 360° camera array that creates stunning panoramic images of its surroundings and works seamlessly with Street View, Google Maps, and Google Earth. It is designed to document places on the planet automobiles cannot access, such as unknown wilderness trails, hidden caves, museums, and dense city centers.

Since Trekker is used in vastly different environments—from the Louvre to the Australian Outback—we developed Google’s second-generation model with an aesthetic that would exude rugged strength while also expressing soft approachability. Trekker has gone on to create a subculture of travelers committed to revealing new frontiers and sharing their experiences with the global community. It has also become a valuable tool for cartographers and brings benefits to global education, science, and research.

Google Trekker stands out as a technologically sophisticated system with compact dimensions, allowing Street View images to be taken anywhere. – Red Dot Award Jury

Trekker will be featured alongside other notable objects from around the world, including Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir’s iconic British road signage system, Harry Beck’s first sketch for the London Underground, a redesigned flag for Europe, and the Copenhagen Wheel, which can make any bike electric.

The gallery’s six thematic displays confront the challenges facing society today and incorporate a look back at the fashion, digital, and product design, photography, architecture, and furniture of the last 120-plus years:

  • Automation and Labour explores the changing nature of the workplace, from office chairs to Amazon warehouse fulfillment robots.
  • Housing and Living charts the development of our connected societies in the 20th and 21st centuries.
  • Crisis and Conflict examines design’s ongoing role in shaping and reacting to global issues.
  • Consumption and Identity examines consumer trends and the role of objects in developing a personal sense of identity.
  • Sustainability and Subversion considers how design has sought to address the climate emergency.
  • Data and Communication looks at the role of digital media in everyday life.

The V&A’s celebrated Rapid Response Collecting program will also be displayed alongside these contemporary objects. This program celebrates disruptive and impactful objects, including those that played a role in limiting the spread of Covid-19 and addressing social injustice.

“Design 1900 – Now” invites museum visitors to consider how design shapes and is shaped by how we live, work, travel, communicate and consume.

About the V&A:

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewelry, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre, and performance.

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