100000 people visit the new home of London Design Museum in its first four weeks

100000 people visit the new home of London Design Museum in its first four weeks

Since opening to the public on the November 24, 2016, the Design Museum in Kensington has welcomed over 100000 visitors through its doors. This unprecedented interest in the museum has created a strong base for reaching the expected visitor figure of 650000 for the museum’s first year of opening

Attracting between 200000 and 250000 visitors annually in its previous location in Shad Thames, south-east London, the museum’s new building inThe new London Design MuseumKensington has reached half of this figure in its first four weeks. The move to Kensington offered the museum a larger building, state-of-the-art facilities, the chance to display a free permanent collection display and improved transport links, all proving to be decisive factors in the improved audience footfall. In addition to the free-to-visit permanent exhibition Designer Maker User, the Design Museum also offers two temporary galleries currently displaying the exhibitions Fear and Love and Beazley Designs of the Year.

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum commented: ‘It’s enormously encouraging to see the museum attracting so many visitors. We always believed that there was a big audience for contemporary design and architecture. After being closed since the summer, it’s great to have such an enthusiastic audience coming in such high numbers.’

Working closely with the Kensington High Street Business Forum, local shops and restaurants are also reporting an increase in footfall and sales as the museum supports the revival of one of London’s landmark high streets.

Cllr Nick Paget-Brown, Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: ‘The Design Museum is a marvellous addition to Kensington High Street. The museum adds to the borough’s already impressive reputation for outstanding cultural institutions, and I am delighted that the Design Museum is bringing many more people to the area.’

Following an investment of GBP 83 million, the Design Museum has transformed one of London’s great modernist buildings into its new home. Architectural designer John Pawson has redesigned the interior, his first major public building, to create a dramatic atrium highlighting the building’s original and iconic hyperbolic paraboloid roof.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: ‘London is the design capital of the world. We’re a global leader, attracting the very best companies and talent, so it makes perfect sense that we should have the world’s best design museum. From the Tube to the television and the World Wide Web, London’s visionary talent has consistently led the world with its ingenuity and invention. I’m delighted that many more Londoners and visitors to the capital are celebrating London’s place in the world of design and enjoying the Design Museum’s outstanding exhibitions in its brand new home in Kensington. I’m so pleased that the facilities are available to more school children than ever before – inspiring the designers, engineers and artists of the future. I encourage every Londoner to take the time to visit this fantastic hub of imagination and creativity.’

Founded by Sir Terence Conran, the Design Museum opened in 1989 in a former banana ripening warehouse on Shad Thames, following its successful original incarnation opening in 1983 as the Boilerhouse Project, in the basement of the V&A. Remaining at Shad Thames until 30 June 2016, the Design Museum mounted a host of critically acclaimed exhibitions, including shows dedicated to the work of Lord Richard Rogers, Thomas Heatherwick, Dame Zaha Hadid, Dieter Rams, Ettore Sottsass, Sir Paul Smith, Christian Louboutin and Sir Kenneth Grange.

 The Design Museum’s forthcoming exhibition programme for 2017 includes displays on designing for our ageing population, the unbuilt architecture of Moscow in the 1920’s and 1930’s and a landmark exhibition exploring the counterculture of California.

The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and design, its work encompasses all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over five million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Miuccia Prada, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams. On 24 November 2016, The Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London. Leading architectural designer John Pawson has converted the interior of a 1960s modernist building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions and significantly extend its learning programme.

The 2017 programme of the London Design Museum

–        Imagine Moscow; Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution (March 15 – June 3 2017)Imagine Moscow

Marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution, this exhibition explores Moscow as it was imagined by a bold new generation of architects and designers in the 1920s and early 1930s. Drawing on rarely seen material, Imagine Moscow presents an idealistic vision of the Soviet capital that was never realised. Large-scale architectural drawings are supported by artwork, propaganda and publications from the period. Taken together, these unbuilt projects suggest an alternative reality for the city, offering a unique insight into the culture of the time. Each of the eight projects presented in the exhibition introduce a theme relevant to life and ideology in the Soviet Union: collectivisation, urban planning, aviation, communication, industrialisation, communal living and recreation.

–        California (May  24 – October 15, 2017)

“Designed in California” is the new “Made in Italy”. While California’s mid-century modernism is well documented, this is the first exhibition to examine the state’s current global reach. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture. Its central idea is that California has pioneered tools of personal liberation, from LSD to skateboards and iPhones. This ambitious survey brings together political posters, personal computers and self-driving cars but also looks beyond hardware to explore how user interface designers in the Bay Area are shaping some of our most common daily experiences. The exhibition reveals how this culture of design and technology has made us all Californians. The exhibition is sponsored by Google.

–        Hella Jongerius: Breathing Colour (June 28 – September 24, 2017)

We see the world in colour but rarely do we appreciate how colour shapes what we see. Drawing on years of research, designer Hella Jongerius presents Breathing Colour; an installation-based exhibition that takes a deeper look at the way colour behaves, exploring shapes, materials, shadows and reflections. Through a series of phenomenological studies and experiences, the exhibition will make us question one of the most elemental aspects of design.

Pop-up exhibitions to be held at the Design Museum:

–        NEW OLD: Designing for our Future Selves (January 12 – February 19, 2017)

New Old 2Created to mark the 30th anniversary of Helen Hamlyn’s pioneering New Design for Old exhibition at the Boilerhouse Project, the forerunner to the Design Museum, NEW OLD explores the potential for design and designers to enhance the experience of our later lives. As our population ages rapidly, the exhibition looks at how design can help people lead fuller, healthier and more rewarding lives in an ageing society, looking at such themes as home, working, community, identity and mobility.

Curated by Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, and sponsored by the Helen Hamlyn Trust and AXA PPP Healthcare, with additional support from Arthritis Research UK, each section of the exhibition will feature a special design commission by a leading designer or design team. NEW OLD will include new commissions by Yves Béhar / fuseproject, Special Projects Studio, Future Facility, Konstantin Grcic and PriestmanGoode. The event is sponsored by AXA Healthcare.


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