The relocation of The Design Museum from Shad Thames to Kensington has done little to mar its iconic status within the art and design industry. With its contemporary graphic, fashion, industrial and architectural design collections, the museum has taken over a bigger site: a 1960’s landmark, Grade II listed building, which formerly housed the Commonwealth Institute. Opening at the end of last year, we finally took a trip down the road to visit the leading museum, and lets not lie, for a few Instagram pics too…
Prior to our visit we knew that our client, Villeroy & Boch had some of their dinnerware featured in the exhibition: Fear & Love: Reactions to a Complex World. Proposing there is a spectrum of attitudes towards design in today’s world, the exhibition puts forward the notion that design is as equally responsible for understanding the world as it is for changing it.
A topical and thought-provoking exhibition bringing together 11 diverse design practices from across the world, it’s only natural for the EU referendum to play a part in shaping one installation. The Pan-European Living Room designed by OMA – an international architectural practice – and AMO – a research and design studio – wanted to make a statement in support of Europe. This installation implies that our domestic living rooms have been shaped by European cooperation between the designers, manufacturers and trading nations and consequently, the average living room is a product of this collaborative spirit.
This installation was furnished with homeware products from each of the 28 member states. From the UK, Osborne & Little wallpaper designed by Nina Campbell decorates the walls, whilst Villeroy & Boch donated two premium porcelain cups from their timeless blue and white dinnerware collections, Old Luxembourg. As one of the most collected patterns around the world, the china cups take pride of place on the French addition to the installation: the Mexique coffee table by designer, Charlotte Perriand and interiors brand, Cassina.
With The Design Museum now forming part of the art and cultural quarter in Kensington, joining the Royal College of Art, V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Serpentine Gallery, its contemporary exterior and interior contribute to the refinement of design. Our morning trip down Kensington High Street was a very cultural one and it’s not hard to see why the new Design Museum has just attracted a quarter of million visitors in less than 12 weeks.