Coinciding with London Olympics, Designed to Win explores the various ways in which design has shaped the sporting world.
The exhibition, created in association with Oakley, celebrates design in sport, focusing on the the relationship between design and performance and function, looking at how new materials, fashions and technologies have transformed sporting equipment.
Film clips, photography and models are shown alongside interactive displays, sporting equipment and timelines.

“Designed to Win” is split up into several different themes. The section on speed, power and performance features a selection of bicycles including a track bike, a downhill bike, a time-trial bike and a racing BMX to take a look at how the needs of different cyclists lead to highly specialised, technologically amazing bicycles. This part of the exhibition also features Bradley Wiggins’ recent Tour de France winning bicycle.

Also featured: Speedo’s controversial line of swimming suits, launched at Beijing 2008 Olympics, where 94 per cent of all races were won by athletes donning the LZR Racer. By August 2009, 93 world records had been broken by swimmers wearing it, prompting major investigations and allegations of “technological doping”. The suits were banned in 2010.

The exhibition also looks at safety equipment. There’s a selection of cricket helmets showing how their design and the materials used changed through time as they moved from steel to plastic to Kevlar protective shells. You can also see F1 racing helmets worn over the last three decades including Lewis Hamilton’s.

The final room is all about sporting controversies, and features in particular Ilie Nastase‘s spaghetti racquet.
The double-strung tennis racquet was first sighted in 1977, but was soon banned due to the excessive spin it generated. Ilie Nastase used what became known as the ‘spaghetti-strung’ racquet to end the 57-match claycourt winning streak of Guillermo Vilas.

More pics on Notcot

Designed To Win, Design Museum, until November 18. £10