We went to visit the new design museum. It used to be housed in a building by the Thames and Tower Bridge but has now re-opened in the old Commonwealth Institute which has been renovated by John Pawson.
The space has one permanent exhibition, two spaces for temporary exhibitions as well as a restaurant, cafe and two shops. Going into the space the staff were extremely welcoming and all dressed in aprons like baristas… or elves. Going further into the space you are confronted with a massive void all the way to the roof.
On the third floor is the free permanent exhibition. You’re greeted by a large changing sign showing the name of the exhibition designed by Studio Myerscough. Designer Maker User shows 1000 plus items of 20th and 21st century design. Which is great if you have the time and patience to read all the little bits of information and look at all the items then this is a great exhibition. To us though it was a crammed experience with one design and text drowning and being drowned by the next. I didn’t know where to look, and between moving out the way for people to walk past and not getting distracted by the next visual, I only really looked at the start object and walked through the rest. (Plus couldn’t get far enough away to fit everything into a photograph!)
Overall other than the overwhelming squished display the architecture of the building was pretty nice. A great space to look up and admire… but maybe not the most useable. Still worth a visit, we may not have enjoyed it that much, but you may do!
All Photographs ©Bethvictoria.com