The Design Museum is set to join other much-loved national museums in Kensington on the 24 November, in a £83 million move that will triple its floor space.
Along with a large temporary exhibition space, library, learning centre, and capacity increase from 250,000 to 650,000, the new 9,480 square metre museum will - for the first time - have a free permanent gallery, Designer Maker User.
Celebrated architect John Pawson is converting the interior of the Grade II listed, former Commonwealth Institute building, in what the museum’s chief curator, Justin McGuirk, refers to as “a fantastic change – to recreate a building that is already a landmark… We’ve got an icon already. We’re now bringing it back to life.”
In matching with its central London location and larger capacity, the museum also hopes to become more pivotal in shaping how the public feels about design, aiming to do what the Tate Modern did for contemporary art: push the practice from the fringes of society, and into the mainstream.
McGuirk thinks the museum a “laboratory”, not just somewhere to show “objects on pedestals and in glass cases.” Fitting with this sentiment is the new Designers in Residence Studio where the newly-trained can benefit from continued mentoring, challenges and exposure – and visitors can see the design process for themselves.
Image: render of new museum's top floor
All images credit of the Design Museum.
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