The Design Museum has reimagined its high street shop as an essential store, featuring everyday products redesigned by a line-up of emerging talent.
Supermarket is a temporary installation developed by gin brand Bombay Sapphire and the Design Museum, featuring environmental graphics from Camille Walala
While lockdown is easing in the capital, with pubs and restaurants now serving people outside, arts venues remain closed until mid-May. Throughout the pandemic, the Design Museum says that it has suffered “a 92% drop in its usual income streams”.
The redesigned store, which has a tagline of ‘Creativity is Essential’, is a way for people to “nourish their creativity and purchase limited edition works of art” while doing their weekly shop, the museum says.
The essential range from porridge oats to toilet roll. Packaging has been designed by ten emerging illustrators, artists and animators including Charlotte Edey, Kentaro Okawara and Joey Yu.
According to the museum, the packaging provided a blank canvas for the group to bring their “own distinctive style to the project”. The products all feature blue shades as a nod to Bombay Sapphire’s bottles
Some of the products include toilet roll from Michaela Yearwood-Dan, a coffee jar from Holly Warbuton and a rice box by Joey Yu. Other items include washing up liquid by Jess Warby and fruit and vegetables stickers from Isabella Lima.
Walala has designed tote bags, and her distinctive geometric patterns will provide the visuals for the retail space.
The items have been produced in limited quantities, according to the museum. All proceeds from sales will go to the museum’s new Emerging Designer Access Fund, a scheme that distributes free Design Museum tickets to up and coming artists and designers.
“The end result is a range of vibrant, collectable items that will not only be a stunning addition to any kitchen shelf, but support emerging artists and a cultural institution in what has been a difficult year for many,” the museum adds.
Another aim for the project is to make “creativity accessible to all” by offering the products at an affordable price, the museum says. For example, the toilet roll costs 50p while a porridge oat jar costs £1.10.
“This installation is an opportunity to rethink about what we buy, who profits and what we consider to be essential,” Design Museum director and chief executive Tim Marlow says.
While the museum has held exhibitions in the past year, including its blockbuster Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers, it has mostly remained closed. It is expected to re-open next month with an exhibition about the design of sneakers.
Supermarket opens Wednesday 21 April for five days. More information can be found on the Design Museum’s website.