Friday, 31 October 2014
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A dip into the Design Museum's permanent collection

Some 200 pieces from the Design Museum’s permanent collection are on show at the Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things exhibition, which opens tomorrow.

 

Traffic light, by David Mellor

Traffic light, by David Mellor

The show is a taster of the Museum’s 3000-object collection of 20th-century design, which will take up the entire top floor of the Design Museum’s new home, when it opens in The Commonwealth Institute in Kensington in 2015.

Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic says that the museum is still building up its collection ahead of the move ‘particularly British designers’ first works and pieces from the transition from analogue to digital.’

UK currency design, by Matthew Dent

UK currency design, by Matthew Dent

Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things, with exhibition design from Gitta Gschwendtner and graphics by Henrik Kubel, focuses on six themes that look at the impact of design on our daily lives:  National Identity, Why We Collect, Icons, Fashion, Modernism in Britain, and Materials.

All the classics are present and correct: the K6 phone box, Calvert and Kinneir’s motorway signs, Jonathan Ive’s Apple iMac, Sir Kenneth Grange’s Milward Courier shaver and (much) more.

Motorway signage, by Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir

Motorway signage, by Margaret Calvert and Jock Kinneir

Some of the curated thematic sections try to contextualise feelings from past times, like the area bravely titled Taste, which presents some beautiful Modernist pieces, that the museum calls ‘a snapshot of a remarkable and dynamic period of design in Britain’.

For the first time we’re beginning to get a tangible sense of what the new museum will be able to display.

Low Table, by Marcel Breuer

Low Table, by Marcel Breuer

There are some 290 chairs, 24 televisions and one nappy in The Design Museum Collection, and an AK47, first developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947 has been recently acquired.

The museum is reportedly bidding on eBay for other pieces, which will all be presented under one roof in two years’ time.

Boby Trolley, by Joe Colombo

Boby Trolley, by Joe Colombo

Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things will be at the Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, SE1 from 30 January 2013 until 2015.

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