09 March 2018

The Design Museum, London

Design icons and Ferrari: Under the skin

We thought we would share a few notes and images following our visit to The Design Museum in Kensington.

For those of you who have not yet visited The Design Museum it is well worth the trip. The landmark 1960’s Grade II* building, formerly the home of the Commonwealth Institute, stood empty for more than a decade before it was transformed for the Museum who relocated from smaller premises in Shad Thames, Bermondsey, opening to the public in November 2016.

The building’s hyperbolic paraboloid copper-clad roof and concrete interior have been refurbished, but the design team lead by John Pawson have introduced pale oak and white paint to much of the vast atrium which soars 25m above the ground floor entrance, with galleries ranged around the perimeter.

The Museum’s mission statement includes a desire to educate and an entire floor is occupied by the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning and the Sackler Library and Archive which together will provide design education from their studios and creative workshops for up to 60,000 young people, families and academics annually.

The Museum presents an introduction to the history of contemporary design alongside temporary exhibitions and pop-ups, as well as larger touring exhibitions. In fact just 25% of the gallery space is devoted to a permanent display.

During our visit we saw the permanent ‘Designer Maker User’ exhibition featuring over 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design covering architecture and engineering, the digital world, fashion and graphics.

Also on display, ‘Ferrari: Under the skin’ celebrated 70 years of the iconic Italian motor manufacturer’s history. As the Museum put it “passion, glamour and design innovation” are all part of the mix.

Keep an eye out for forthcoming exhibitions – we will!