The Design Museum

Five reasons to go to the new Design Museum


exterior image of the blue glass top of the design museum with surrounding trees

1 Marvel at the building

Architect-designer John Pawson has worked his trademark minimalist magic to makeover a disused Modernist building on London’s Kensington High Street. The former Commonwealth Institute with its dramatic ray-like concrete roof, now has a huge oak-lined atrium and wraparound balconies. With three times more exhibition space than its previous home, there’s lots to see…


2 Check out the Designs of the Year

From David Bowie’s Darkstar album cover to the re-imagined amusement park Dreamland Margate, the museum’s annual barometer of ground-breaking design covers all bases from fashion to architecture.


Top of our bucket list is OMA’s stunning transformation of a former distillery in Milan to create new art museum Fondazione Prada (pictured). However we reckon that Fredriskson Stallard should take the ultimate accolade for Species II, their unique take on a chair. Giant velvet-like rock anyone? Winners will be announced on 26 January 2017.


3 Feel the Fear & Love

This thought-provoking feast of eleven installations by some of the most innovative designers and architects working today, explores a range of issues that are hot right now from sentient robots to slow fashion. The show demonstrates that design is not just about commerce and culture but emotions too.


A poignant Brexit-inspired living room and an audi-visual installation inspired by Grindr and other dating apps gave us plenty to think about.


4 See everyday design from a different angle

Do you remember the Walkman? How about the crazy colour-pop of those first iMacs? The Museum’s epic collection of contemporary design is on display for the first time with over 1,000 pieces from road signs to an Alessi kettle. Not content with the traditional timeline, the installation Designer Maker User looks at how design is an integral part of our lives.


5 Exit through the gift shop

We can’t resist a museum shop. Beyond the postcards and catalogues is an edit of desirable design that’s as carefully curated as the collection itself. From a £1,000+ limited edition copper bowl designed by the museum’s architect John Pawson to a re-issued Old Hall toast rack originally designed in 1957 (and a snip at £40), you wont come away empty-handed.


purple rock form from inside the design museum exhibiton Silver electric kettle and pink and white imac computer from the Design museum exhibitions

Image Credit:

Museum exterior: Gravity Road

Museum interior: Gareth Gardner

Fondazione Prada: Bas Princen, courtesy Fondazione Prada

The Pan-European Living Room: Luke Hayes