Time to explore a bit of culture that is just up my street.
I hadn’t been to the design museum since I was at university. That was a long time ago! When I heard on the news that it was reopening in Kensington I thought that it was time to visit.
Now the only thing I remembered from my previous visit was the shop. Perhaps that says more about my age or my impressive of the museum but I was heading there this time with open eyes.
The Design Museum is just a five-minute walk from High Street Kensington station and is nearby the entrance to Holland Park. From the outside, the museum didn’t have appeal with its colour. Its structure would have been more of a talking point but when I went it was pouring with rain so it wasn’t appropriate to stop and think.
Inside the museum
Once inside the interior was striking. It was like being in the centre of a cube with open space. The paid exhibition area looked like it was downstairs so I headed up not knowing at all what I would find. The staircases were positioned in such a way that as you walked up you had to walk across to the other side of the floor. In a way, you were looking at every area of the floor.
Along one wall were photo frames that were neatly displayed. Its simplicity actually drew attention because there were very few things on any of the walls.
On another floor was a display of Design Ventura; “Design Ventura brings together the business of design to life for students aged 13-16 by challenging them to develop a new, creative and commercially viable product”.
There were some interesting design products like the marble blocks, a DIY lamp kit and Eazy Squeezy. It’s amazing how ones so young can create such original design. Inspiring stuff.
The top floor was where the main exhibition was.
Designer, Maker, User.
“Design is a process carried out by people, for people. At its heart is a dialogue between three key people: the designer, the maker and the user. This exhibition invites you to explore design from the perspectives of all three. It shows how designers respond to the needs of makers and users, how users consume and influence design, and how revolutions in technology and manufacturing transform our world”.
A timeline was displayed at the entrance to the exhibit with influential moments of design. I didn’t get a chance to read it all because there was a large group of school children doing the same thing and stood right in front of what I was reading, oh well.
Throughout the exhibit, there were examples of important design and thoughtful questions. One question, in particular, was, what is good design? The two examples shown were an AK-47 and a leg splint. Both had opposite intentions but were good designs.
Videos were playing on small screens throughout, with hearing pieces and stools to sit.
The evolution of design was beautifully displayed across a massive wall.
There were many interesting aspects to the exhibition that would appeal to both young and old. Interactive elements were present throughout as well to engage the audience. I really liked the examples on display of the evolution of brands design, look out for Sony and Apple.
At the beginning/end of the exhibition was a mural of design objects that were nominated as good design. The products were wide-ranging, proving that good design is not limited by form or function.
I enjoyed my visit to the Design Museum. It may not have had a wealth to exhibitions to view but what it has is quality over quantity. Thought has gone into a subtle experience for visitors contained in an open space, very much depicting what design should be about.
There were many secluded areas; library, members lounge, common room and activity room on each floor. So there is more to the museum than just the exhibitions.
Have you been to the Design Museum since it reopened? What did you think?
What is your favourite design object?
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment below…