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China Design Now at the V&A

By John Kelly  

When the Triumph Bonneville was sex on wheels and Roberts radios were avant-garde, “Made in Japan” meant cheap and garish. Those silly little transistor radios— hadn’t they heard of valves? How we laughed at their little noddy bikes that didn’t leak oil and kick started without breaking your ankle. Sony who? Raw fish? Well, the rest is history.  So we should not be in the least surprised that “Made in China” means stylish, futuristic, smooth. The only shock is the transition from agrarian to Bladerunner in less than a decade. Young Chinese designers smorgasbord sources from industrialised East Asia, China’s…

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