Extraordinary stories about ordinary things
The Design Museum has the UK’s only collection devoted exclusively to contemporary design and architecture. This new permanent collection
display reveals intriguing insights in the most exceptional of everyday objects.
The opening of the museum’s permanent collection marks an essential milestone in the journey towards the future of the Design Museum at its new
home in Kensington, where the entire top floor will display the museum’s collection of twentieth-century design.
The exhibition presents six key stories through hundreds of items, offering a diverse investigation into the impact of design on our everyday lives. The
exhibition will show the surprising origins of famous and lesser known designs, alongside contextual images and documents.National identity is explored through objects that define a nation such as the phone box, road signage, the post box, the London 2012 logo and the Euro.
The story of the development of the London 2012 logo tells how for the first time in history of the Games, the Olympics and Paralympics embraced the same logo. The logo was created to be a ‘design for everybody’ – the exhibition will reveal the design process and thinking behind this symbol of Britain as a world stage and allow audiences to interact with it.
The dominance of plastic in our lives is examined with examples of luxury through to everyday plastics from the last 75 years, from small household
items to the first examples of plastic furniture in the 1960s. Recent uses of plastic include high profile designers such as Issey Miyake using recycled PET from plastic bottles to create fabrics used in his designs.
A section on Modernism provides a snapshot of a remarkable and dynamic period of design in Britain, shown through iconic pieces of
furniture, products, textiles and architecture. The section will feature works by Marcel Breuer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Erno Goldfinger, whose name Ian Fleming spitefully immortalised as a Bond villain because of personal antagonism.
Jasper Morrison’s Handlebar Table, which was recently added to the collection with the support of the Art Fund, will go on display for the first
time in a section looking at collecting.
Another section will profile a single iconic design – the Anglepoise lamp – telling how an experiment by a car engineer with an obsession with springs
resulted in an invention that was to become one of the most copied, parodied and collected in the history of design.
A display of fashion from the 1970s to the 1990s will throw a spotlight on six occasion outfits from a personal wardrobe of over 400 items belonging to
fashion collector Jill Ritblat. The outfits chart the shift of style through a life in society, and champion the exquisite balance of form and function in the
Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum says: ‘Design matters at every level. It is what makes daily life a little better; it is about the big economic changes that the world is going through. It is about the designers and the manufacturers, but it is also about the users. It is a unique way of making sense of the world around us.’