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The Design Museum will open on 24 November
Sir Terence Conran, founder of the Design Museum said: ‘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. It was a hugely important moment for design in the UK 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.’


LONDON.- The Design Museum has today announced that it will open in its new home on Kensington High Street, on 24 November this year, the result of an £83 million transformation of a listed landmark building from the 1960s.

For the first time in the museum’s history it will have a free permanent display of its collection - Designer Maker User tells the story of contemporary design through these three interconnected roles. A wall at the entrance to the gallery will feature some of the world’s most popular affordable consumer goods, crowdsourced from the public via the museum’s website - the call for suggestions begins today.

Highlights of the collection include: the Vespa Clubman designed by Corradino d’Ascanio and made by Piaggio; Ettore Sottsass and Perry King’s Valentine 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 AK47 assault rifle and Ossie Clarke and Celia Birtwell’s Paper dress.

The museum’s opening exhibitions have also been revealed. The first exhibition from the museum’s Chief Curator, Justin McGuirk, is Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World. Featuring a series of newly commissioned installations, Fear and Love is an insight into our hopes and doubts about the pace and impact of change. The flagship Designs of the Year show will return for its ninth outing.

The Design Museum has also announced significant partnerships with Vitra, whose furniture will be used throughout the museum’s public spaces and office areas; and with Phaidon, who will publish books to accompany the museum’s major exhibitions, as well as a new guide and history of the Design Museum.

Acclaimed designer John Pawson is remodelling the interior of the Grade II* listed former Commonwealth Institute building, in a project that will increase the museum’s size threefold, enabling a significantly extended learning programme and a greater range of exhibitions. Studio Myerscough is designing the Designer Maker User permanent display. The museum’s visual identity has been enhanced by Fernando Gutiérrez Studio. Cartlidge Levene are creating the wayfinding and signage system. The museum’s recently relaunched multi-award winning website was created with Fabrique, in a year which also saw the Design Museum become the most followed museum in the world on Twitter.

The Design Museum’s new building will include the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning, Bakala Auditorium, Sackler Library and Archive and a Designers in Residence Studio, which will open with a showcase of the work of the 2016 Designers in Residence, who are due to be announced this spring. There will also be a café, restaurant, and members’ room. Wilmott Dixon Interiors were awarded the fit out contract for the building in June 2015. Concord have worked with the museum to design the building’s lighting scheme and highlight its architectural features.

The developer of the site, a joint venture between Chelsfield LLP and the Ilchester Estate has donated the building and land, together with the cost of refurbishing the shell and core of the building. The Heritage Lottery Fund have supported the project with a grant of £4.9 million. Arts Council England have supported the project with a capital grant of £3 million.

The press conference announcing the museum’s opening date took place today at Phillips auction house, where a philanthropic auction, entitled Time for Design and curated by the Design Museum’s Director, Deyan Sudjic, will take place on 28 April. The museum continues to fundraise to complete the Kensington project and secure its future.

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum said: ‘This move will redefine the Design Museum as the most inspiring, exciting and engaging contemporary design and architecture museum in the world, with 10,000sqm of space, and a target of 650,000 visitors each year. 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 programme that encourages new work and new thinking, and the touring, digital and publications programme will take the message around the world. The museum will nurture new generations of designers and continue its history of recognising and supporting emerging design talent.’

Sir Terence Conran, founder of the Design Museum said: ‘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. It was a hugely important moment for design in the UK 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.’





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