Design Museum Collection: Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things

by eleonora usseglio prinsi
3 Love 2360 Visits

From 30 January 2013 opens to the public the new permanent collection of the Design Museum: Extraordinary Stories about ordinary things. This is the first step towards the opening on 2015 of the new Design Museum relocated to the former Commonwealth Institute on London’s Kensington High Street and redisigned by John Pawson Ltd. 

Anglepoise Lamp Courtesy Design Museum London


The exhibition presents six key stories through hundreds of items, offering a diverse investigation into the impact of design on oureveryday lives. The exhibition will show the surprising origins of famous and lesser known designs, alongside contextual images and documents.


LAR Armchair designed by Charles Eames, 1948 Courtesy Design Museum London

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 the history of the Games, the Olympics and Paralympics embraced the same logo. 

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.


Boby Trolley designed by Joe Colombo, 1964 Courtesy Design Museum London

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.

Apple iMac designed by Jonathan Ive, 1998-9 Courtesy Design Museum London

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 pieces themselves.

There are over 3,000 objects in the collection which include furniture, lighting, domestic appliances and communications technology.

 K6 Kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott Courtesy Design Museum London


Design Museum _ 28 Shad Thames London

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