Design Museum

One of the great things about being freelance is being able to take some of a day off during the week. Ollie is freelance and a student so he’s able to do this from time to time too. We finally got the chance to visit the Design Museum together, located on High Street Kensington last week. I briefly popped by last month as I was invited to see the new ‘Breathing Colour’ exhibit which I’ll talk further about below, but I knew from my brief visit I would be coming back with Ollie to take a proper look around.

We first headed up to the museum’s permanent exhibit ‘Designer, Maker, User’. This exhibit really opens up the idea of how design is incorporated into our everyday lives. Without even thinking about it, we are subconsciously influenced and followed by design in almost everything we do. What we choose to wear each morning or how we choose to travel. The part of this exhibit that fascinated me the most was about typography and how important it is. It’s ingrained into our lives and yet we don’t usually take much notice of it. Fonts and type affect and influence our lives, we are more likely to obey an order from a more serious typeface than a jokey one for instance. Ollie and I both love typography and find it fascinating, but hearing and reading this information at the exhibit was the first time I’d looked at typography in this particular way. The ways in which we use typography are very much limitless.

When visiting a few weeks previously I was invited to the private view of the Design Museum’s new exhibit ‘Breathing Colour’ by Hella Jongerius. Hella’s view of colour is very inspiring. I had never considered looking at colour from her point of view until that day and ever since colour has been inspiring me in new ways. The exhibit follows how colour develops from morning to noon and through to night, and how there are hundreds if not thousands of different shades of colour in what we see in our everyday lives. I would really recommend this exhibit to anyone wanting to look at colour in a new way and to challenge the way you perceive colour. The Design Museum recently collaborated with the incredible baker Frances Quinn on an instagram takeover which documented Frances’ opinions and influences from the exhibit. I found it very interesting to see it from another attendee’s eyes and it also reminded me of how much I enjoyed it and how it challenged me to look at colour differently. 

On Ollie and I’s visit last week we also visited the ‘California: Designing Freedom’ exhibition. It looks at how California has become an integral centre of design since the counterculture of the 1960s moving into the tech culture of Silicon Valley from the 1980s onwards. So many incredible and ground breaking design led companies were founded in California, including Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Disney, all of which were started in garages. I found this incredible, there was certainly something electrifying in the Californian air. The exhibit is broken down into five sections; Go where you want, See what you want, Say what you want, Make what you want, Join what you want, from those outlined areas alone you can tell that California was encouraging designers to thrive as they still do to this day.

We shall definitely be keeping an eye on their upcoming exhibits and will be visiting again very soon. Their address is below, let me know if you’ve visited or are now planning to visit and what you loved most about the museum.

The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG

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