Fifty years ago, the Queen Elizabeth 2 – the last Clyde-built trans-Atlantic liner – set sail from Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ Clydebank shipyard at the beginning of what turned out to be a highly successful and lengthy career as a trans-Atlantic liner and cruise ship. The QE2 was intended as a showpiece for British engineering, design and shipbuilding craftsmanship.
The exterior was styled by James Gardiner, the famous industrial designer, who produced a strikingly futuristic silhouette with sculptural forms and a distinctive funnel and mast, suggestive of the space age. Thus, the QE2 resembled no passenger ship yet seen.
This exhibition, at the Glasgow School of Art, focuses on the design of the ship and its interiors - which represented a high point for British post-war design. The interiors, meanwhile, were by a stellar array of architecture and interior design talents, who used up-to-date synthetic materials like fibreglass and Formica. Through imagery, text and ephemera, a notable 'Clyde-built' design achievement is celebrated. This exhibition is curated by Bruce Peter, Professor in Design History at The Glasgow School of Art.
Professor Bruce Peter's research relates mainly to architecture and design for transport and leisure and entertainment. His PhD investigated relationships between architecture of pleasure and the modern movement in the inter-war era. Subsequent research has examined the design and material culture of cruise ships, ro-ro ferries and container shipping and logistics.
Reid Ground Floor Corridor
The Glasgow School of Art
164 Renfrew Street
Glasgow G3 6RF
Free admission to gallery