Design Museum

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The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and contemporary design. Opened in 1989 by Sir Terence Conran, the museum celebrates all forms of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. The museum has hosted exhibitions showcasing some of the most important pioneers of design including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Charles and Ray Eames, Christian Louboutin and Dieter Rams.

In 2015 the Design Museum will relocate from its current home at Shad Thames, by Tower Bridge, to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington High Street, west London. The move will give the museum three times more space, provide free access toits world class collection, extend its learning and exhibition programme and locate the museum in Kensington’s cultural quarter where it will join the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and Serpentine Gallery.  The relocation of the Design Museum will bring a new lease of life to a famous London landmark. The former Commonwealth Institute is a Grade 2* listed building, designed in the 1960s by Sir Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall and Lord Cunliffe. The Commonwealth Institute closed in 2002 andsince then the building has lain dormant.

Leading designer John Pawson will redesign the interior and architect Rem Koolhaus of OMA will design the residential development for the site. Once complete, the new Design Museum will be a world leading venue with two temporary exhibition spaces, free access to its permanent collection display, learning spaces, design workshops, a specialist design library, an auditorium, a museum shop, a café and restaurant. The museum expects to attract 500,000 visitors a year.

The new Design Museum is generously supported by:

The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, Arnold Foundation, The Atkin Foundation, The Conran Foundation, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, The Kirby Laing Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Hans and Märit Rausing Charitable Trust, The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, The Schroder Foundation, Swarovski Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, a number of generous individual benefactors including all Design Museum Trustees and other donors who wish to remain anonymous.

The Design Museum at Shad Thames will continue to present exhibitions, learning activities and events up until the new museum opens.

View the latest details, plans and news updates on the new Design Museum at