So Alice Rawsthorn has left the Design Museum (DW 2 February). I might be tempted to mumble about flower arranging and say, ‘About time too’, but she certainly did her bit to raise the profile of the museum – a 40 per cent increase in visitors over the past three years.
Maybe it’s time the format for exhibiting ‘design’ progressed and, though we should all be very grateful to Terence Conran for founding the Design Museum, things have moved on. A new central site, say Regent Street, would be good. As well as having a permanent and ‘serious’ collection, it needs to plug into the heart of what the latest design is about – retail. We may not work only to improve the balance sheets of our clients, but it helps.
I am not ignoring the significance of other issues, like sustainability, inclusive design, artistic merit and so on. The role of the museum is not to archive alone, but to bring things to life for those who may not have previously noticed or understood them – so maybe flower arranging stacks up?
Adam White, Design director, Factory Design, London W6