The New Design Museum wow factor

The New Design Museum wow factor…..such an inspiring building, instantly as you walk into the space. I look forward to years of enjoyment visiting, talking design there and seeing new exhibitions. Plus seeing how the space inspires my work, as a pattern designer, through the photos I take when there.

Designer Maker User permanent exhibition features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design – including a crowdsourced wall. The exhibition covers a broad range of design disciplines, from architecture and engineering, to the digital world, fashion and graphics. #DesignerMakerUser

I have memories of being in the building when it was the Commonwealth Institute, as a Girl Guide and then later for trade shows! The building has now been transformed again by John Pawson and the interior makes you want to enter and explore, as well as just sit and look around you!

The Design Museum History

The founder of the Design Museum is Sir Terence Conran. A person that has always inspired me by his belief in design and the creation of beautiful simple functional furniture, through to his restaurant design and food. I still cannot believe Habitat was started in 1964 and the launch of the Duvet in the U.K.! Habitat – Selling a modern lifestyle.

He wanted to expose Designers to the international arena of what was going on through a design museum. He truely believes Design is important to the economic success of the country.

I so enjoyed watching Arts Night on BBC2 ‘The Brits who designed the Modern World’ at the weekend – you can watch it on IPlayer if you missed it. It was great to see them interior Terence Conran.

The Design Museum was started in the basement of the V&A before moving to the place I remember – the converted old banana warehouse (built to store and ripen them!) in Shad Thames. They opened in 1989 and I remember as a young girl many visits here with my Family.

It was such a special day to then experience going to the new Design Museum with my family on Friday – mum, sister, brother in law and nieces. Seeing how my nieces were so enthusiastic about the space and the interaction in the galleries, made me smile and burst with pride.

I look forward to seeing the building create bigger and better opportunities to celebrate British design. I will be a very proud member of the Design Museum; a place to explore and celebrate contemporary design and architecture. Let’s hope that the building can become one of the leading design centres of the world.

The Design Museum Building

John Pawson and his team have restored and developed the original building that housed the Commonwealth Institute.

The building was originally designed by architects Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall & Partners (RMJM) – the team who designed the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. Project awarded 1957, stated on site 1960 and completed by 1962. The job architects were Roger Cunliffe, Tim Sturgis and Jack Gibb. Engineers Alan Harris and James Sutherland.

It is fascinating reading how Cunliffes design of the concrete roof section was realised – poured onto a angled grid of straight beams, instead of an expensive curved shuttering.

It is wonderful to read that John Pawson sees this new Design Museum, as his project of a lifetime. Plus how he saw his time talking with Roger Cunliffe, as a particular pleasure and privilege.

I love seeing concrete used in buildings and this is a truly fascinating building and ceiling!


Hope you have an inspiring week ahead x