The V&A opens a major exhibition on the role of world events in design, when it launches Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970 this Saturday (September 27).

Covering graphic design, fashion, product and furniture design and even film, the exhibition examines the way that the iconic forms of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were shaped by the Cold War, as well as by other tensions and forces, such as the rise of consumerism, the postwar reconstruction of Europe and the rapid advances in technology that, as well as putting a man on the moon, reshaped the home.

Art and design during this period played a central role in representing and, sometimes challenging, the dominant political and social ideas of the age. The exhibition will showcase works by internationally renowned artists and designers, alongside the forgotten figures of the Cold War era, including rarely seen objects from Eastern Bloc countries.

Works by Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Asger Jorn will demonstrate the links between the fine and applied arts. Architecture and design will include the influential works of the Eames, the Smithsons, Le Corbusier and Buckminster Fuller, as well as major urban projects such as Berlin. The strong relationship between design and film, as evidenced in the work of Stanley Kubrick and Ken Adam, will also be examined.

The exhibition takes place September 27 to January 11; further details will be announced nearer to the time on the V&A's Web site.