Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Culutre Lab - Design Museum's aspirations for inspiration

essica Hamzelou, contributor
DesignMuseum-05-Design-Overtime-Exterior-Shot-Photographer-Amelia-Webb.jpg(Image: Amelia Webb)
London’s Design Museum has long been the iconic home of innovative design and engineering in the UK. Soon, the museum that showcased the likes of Yves Béhar’s sustainable packaging for Puma will soon be packing up and leaving its home on the South Bank of the river Thames for pastures new, with the aim to put design and engineering once more on the map.
A team of architects are already at work planning the redevelopment of the museum’s new home, the Commonwealth Institute - a 1960s building abandoned in recent years and falling into decay. The big move will happen in 2014, by which point the space will have been redesigned so that visitors can take in pretty much the entire building from wherever they stand inside it. And, being three times the size of the current venue, it will have a lot more to offer.
The Commonwealth Institute resides in Kensington, in an area known as Albertopolis, a region famous for its cultural and educational sites. The design museum will be rubbing shoulders with the Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Albert Hall, London’s Science and Natural History Museums and Imperial College, amongst others.
“We want to do for design what the Tate did for modern art,” says Deyan Sudjic, director of the museum. His vision is of a place that informs visitors how things are made, and why. “The world is facing more problems that can be solved with design,” he says. And he hopes that the reinvigorated museum will inspire a new generation of designers and engineers.
Over 20 years after the museum’s first exhibition, founder Sir Terence Conran - the man who helped convince Margaret Thatcher to put design into the UK school curriculum - thinks that the world of design has changed. “If I were leaving [art college] now I would team up with an engineer from Imperial College and try to make things of quality and ingenuity,” he explains.
Good design, Conran says, is key to improving a population’s quality of life. He hopes that the new museum’s site will help engender some of the passion for design held by other countries.“If you go to Scandinavian countries, design is part of their DNA,” Conran says. “It’s not here in the UK, but it should be.”
For Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, the Design Museum crucial to his design education. “Design ultimately defines so much of our life and culture,” he says. “Good design is terribly important, and the Design Museum has played a critical role in the last 20 years, and it’s role will be even more important in the next 20 years.”

No comments:

Post a Comment