The Design Museum, which will open its new location on London’s Kensington High Street in November, has benefited from a $120 million transformation and will showcase the first-ever free, permanent display of its collection “Designer Maker User.” That collection reveals the story line between the three title roles, and spans pieces including the Vespa Clubman, designed by Corradino D’Ascanio and made by Piaggio; Ettore Sottsass and Perry King’s Valentine Portable Typewriter for Olivetti; Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert’s British road signs; the Sony TPS-L2 Walkman, designed by Nobutoshi Kihara; the Obama PROGRESS poster by Shepard Fairey; the GRiD Compass, the first laptop computer, by Bill Moggridge; Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47 assault rifle; and Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell’s Paper dress. In addition, the museum’s opening exhibitions will include “Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World,” which focuses on the impact of change.
Designer John Pawson is remodeling the interior of the building, tripling the museum’s size, and Studio Myerscough is designing the “Designer Maker User” permanent display. The museum is also partnering with Vitra, which will provide all the furniture for the public spaces and office areas. And Phaedon will publish books to accompany the museum’s major exhibitions, as well as a new guide on the museum and its history.
“This move will redefine the Design Museum as the most inspiring, exciting and engaging contemporary design and architecture museum in the world, with 10,000 square meters of space, and a target of 650,000 visitors each year,” says Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum. “Design is the way to ask questions about what technology is doing to us, to explore how the world will look and work, as well as to define new aesthetic approaches. The museum will have a challenging program that encourages new work and new thinking, and the touring, digital and publications program will take the message around the world. The museum will nurture new generations of designers and continue its history of recognizing and supporting emerging design talent.”
"If you forced me to pick the single most rewarding achievement in my long design career then I would not hesitate to say founding the Design Museum in London,” says Design Museum founder Sir Terence Conran. “It was a hugely important moment for design in the U.K. at the time and for me personally. Since 1989, the museum has always led the way and been the first to show some of the work and inspirations of many of the most important designers and architects on the planet. Today, we are about to move from Shad Thames to new, bigger premises in Kensington, where all our dreams and ambitions to create the best and most important design museum in the world will become a step closer to reality. It will make my long lifetime in design absolutely worthwhile.”
The new space will open on November 24. Learn more.