The De­sign Mu­seum has in­spired its vis­i­tors for nearly three decades and now it’s mov­ing to Kens­ing­ton to fire up an­other gen­er­a­tion, says

Where London - - Contents - Sam Rogg

As The De­sign Mu­seum re­opens fol­low­ing an £83mil­lion makeover, we take a look at its ground­break­ing new home in Kens­ing­ton.

Af­ter al­most 30 years in Ber­mond­sey, Lon­don’s much-loved De­sign Mu­seum is on the move.

On 24 Novem­ber, the new De­sign Mu­seum opens its doors in Kens­ing­ton (above) fol­low­ing a £83m trans­for­ma­tion of the Com­mon­wealth In­sti­tute, a listed land­mark from the 1960s. With three times more space than its orig­i­nal ad­dress and an am­bi­tious pro­gramme of ex­hi­bi­tions, it is tipped to be­come the world’s lead­ing mu­seum of de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture.

For the first time in the mu­seum’s his­tory, there will be a free permanent dis­play of its fa­mous col­lec­tion, called De­signer Maker User. Get up close to the con­sumer goods that wowed the world in­clud­ing a Vespa Club­man, an Olivetti Valen­tine type­writer (above) and a Sony TPS-L2 Walk­man. Dis­cover pi­o­neer­ing de­signs in all shapes and sizes, from the Obama ‘Progress’ poster to the GRiD ‘Com­pass’, one of the first lap­top com­put­ers, both of which are on dis­play. If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to ‘fast fash­ion’, wait un­til you see Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark’s throw­away paper dress. The new mu­seum seeks to tell sto­ries through de­sign. Its first ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion FearandLove: Re­ac­tion­stoaCom­plexWorld fea­tures in­stal­la­tions that ex­plore our hopes and doubts about the im­pact of change. The third gallery will ex­hibit the mu­seum’s flag­ship show De­sign­sof theYear. A cof­fee cup for as­tro­nauts, David Bowie’s Black­star al­bum cover and a sex­ual health kit are on show. Sir Ter­ence Con­ran, one of the most im­por­tant de­sign­ers of the past cen­tury, says: ‘If you forced me to pick the sin­gle most re­ward­ing achieve­ment in my long ca­reer, then I would say found­ing The De­sign Mu­seum. Since 1989 it has al­ways led the way.’ Now it’s des­tined to in­spire new gen­er­a­tions to think big about de­sign. For full list­ing, turn to p. 35

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