The new Design Museum

I had the pleasure of visiting the new Design Museum in Kensington at the weekend.

The new Design Museum opened in November 2016. A stunning building on the outside, but that opens up into a jaw-dropping interior! A triple height space that leads up to the impressive curved roof. It was originally built in the 1960s but the inside has been totally renovated by interior designer John Pawson.

The new building offers three times the space that the old museum in Shad Thames had. Everything is so well considered as you would expect from a building showcasing the best in architecture, fashion, graphic, product and industrial design. (Even the loos were worth a visit with their touch-screen mirrors to control soap, water and air for washing your hands!) There are also lots of lovely places to sit and take in the atmosphere.

The best of the free exhibitions was the ‘Designer Maker User’ spaces. Starting of with the ‘cool wall’ – (the greatest bits of design and innovation that have touched our recent lives), where you just kept on finding new things to look at from bits of Lego to the humble cork-screw. Who can spot the Oyster Card?

Leading you round a hexagonal design history timeline into a collection of classic design icons. The tube map, road signs, typefaces, light bulbs to name but a few of the pieces celebrated for their simplicity, clarity and their ability to touch and help us in our lives without us really even noticing them.

It was definitely a thought provoking exhibition – filled with lots of nostalgia. I heard many comments about favourite design classics like ‘I remember those’ ‘I used to love that’. Also a few controversial pieces made an appearance. Love them or hate them – you can’t dispute that ‘Crocs’ are an ingenious piece of footwear design!

To end off a lovely visit – you can visit 1 of 2 shops (or both like I did) and peruse the wonderful books and gifts – a designers heaven!

I would certainly like to return to see what other exhibits will be there in the future.

designmuseum.org