23rd February 2017

The New Design Museum

Last weekend, I visited the new Design Museum on Kensington High Street, West London. The 1960s building had stood vacant for over a decade and has been transformed by John Pawson into a 21st-century museum. As I walked into the building, I was blown away by the beautiful architecture and interior: a paraboloid roof and glass facade. The light wood panelling and openness made the space look warm and welcoming.

New exhibition at the Design Museum

One of the current pop-up exhibitions, ’New Old’, explores how design can potentially enhance experiences for our later lives.

As you walk into the exhibition, you are struck by a brightly coloured perspex structure. As you get closer, you realise that it is a giant bar graph showing the UK’s population estimates and projections by age group. Next to the structure there is an interactive wall in which people can fill out a form and answer ‘When does old age begin?’. It was interesting to see individuals’ different views on when old age begins and their reasons for it – it was also slightly terrifying to see some people say 20-29, others saying 100+.

After an introduction into the demographics of our fast growing population, you are then able to explore the six different sections which examine how the innovation of design can rethink how we live our lives later on in life: Ageing, Identity, Home, Community, Working and Mobility.

A familiar face

I also stumbled upon one of our clients’ (Motivation) products that had pride of place in the ‘Designer Maker User’ exhibition, which was exploring how 20th and 21st century designers take on the three elements. Their product is a Rough Terrain wheelchair which is one of their most iconic wheelchairs – not only is the design well considered, they also ensure that the chair can be locally assembled, fitted and adjusted.

It is amazing to see the evolution of many products that we use in our daily life and how design is constantly pushed to make the user experience a priority. One product that I am most familiar with and which really caught my attention was the iMac. They had all the generations lined up and it was amazing to see the transformation the Apple product has been through.

Final thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the Design Museum and it was great to see the designer’s thinking behind new products which could enhance our way of living later on in life. Perhaps the future’s looking pretty bright after all!

If you have a chance, the new Design Museum is well worth a visit. It has definitely got me thinking about how different the future will be in 10 years’ time.

Take a look at their website for some more information on current, and upcoming, exhibitions.

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    Rebecca Battman

    Managing Director

    Rebecca is the Managing Director of rbl. An experienced brand and marketing professional, Rebecca has spent her 25-year career helping businesses to build, design and manage their brands.

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