top of page

Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design, Victoria and Albert Museum

Metaphor designed this major exhibition exploring the relationship between Surrealism and design, focusing on fashion, furniture, interiors and the decorative arts.


Where possible, we took objects out of showcases and experimented with different modes of display and interpretation to create a powerful, theatrical experience that dovetailed with the objects and the story. An arresting welcome display ushered visitors into a surreal threshold space with a recreation of de Chirico’s stage sets for Diaghilev’s Le Bal. 


To create a unique, free-flowing and non-linear experience, we took visitors under and behind the usual museum world and gave them unexpected views of the exhibition and its content. Atmospheric film and graphics picked up on surrealist principles, showcasing and complementing with the art displayed. 

It was widely and enthusiastically reviewed and drew record box-office numbers. Rachel Campbell-Johnston from The Times said 'As you find yourself drawing towards the end of this show - it has an uncluttered and leisurely layout that lures you easily onwards - it is not so much the physical that you notice, it is the psychological mood that starts to possess you.'

Service: Exhibition Design

Client: Victoria and Albert Museum

Cost: £800,000

Realisation: 2007

bottom of page