The Victoria & Albert museum has appointed Museum of London head of design Moira Gemmill to its post of head of design, after a three-month search.
Gemmill takes up her post on 7 January, reporting to head of major projects Gwyn Miles. She will head a team of four full-time designers – including two 3D creatives and one graphic designer – and will expand the unit if necessary.
She was appointed from a five-strong shortlist, says Miles. ‘[Gemmill] had a strong mixture of both 2D and 3D experience which is exactly what we wanted,’ says Miles. The response was very good, she adds.
0ne of the first aspects of the museum’s design strategy Gemmill will address is signage, Gemmill says. Wayfinding, frontand back-of-house signage has evolved on an incoherent, ‘ad hoc’ basis as and when galleries and extensions are created, she adds.
‘I want to reduce the number of decisions that visitors have to make [as they walk round the museum],’ Gemmill explains.
Gemmill is also looking to develop more stringent design strategies for both 2D promotional graphic design and 3D permanent display work.
‘I will look at how the museum’s design team works, what structures it has in place and how it commissions work,’ she says.
Gemmill intends to work with external design groups on a regular basis, both national and international. It is important that the V&A supports designers, she says, as design as a discipline is the very nature of the museum itself.
Gemmill says she was attracted to the V&A by its size and its prominence, as well as the nature of the collection.
Her replacement at the Museum of London has not yet been found, she says.