We can at last lend our support to an initiative to put graphics firmly on the map. The bid by the likes of global graphics club Icograda and Nottingham Trent University to set up an international graphics museum in Nottingham (DW 3 March) echoes our plea some months ago for a public venue to be established. That the planned museum will be out of London should be no drawback. Nottingham isn’t exactly on the tourist trail – unless you count overseas visitors to the Boots empire – but Bradford’s National Museum of Photography, Film and Television has proved a hit, particularly with schools, and the facility at Dean Clough in Halifax is becoming this year’s business venue, with both the Design Council and the Royal Society for the Arts hosting events there.
It is significant too that last week Japanese retailer Muji identified Nottingham as a location ripe for the expansion of its UK chain. Muji’s ideal catchment is bright and lively folk with an interest in good design, and if this is what it sees in Nottingham, what better local audience for a graphics showcase?
But hang on. What’s all this? News of another international graphics museum, this time mooted for Kuala Lumpur to serve South East Asia (see News, page 5). The Ãº6m price-tag is the same as for the UK project, the obvious difference being that the Malaysian plan has already found a design patron – no less than London-based global group Minale Tattersfield.
But we bet another major difference between the two bids will emerge – and soon. We predict that South East Asian businesses will be more inclined to dig deep in their pockets to support the move than their European counterparts. The UK fundraisers that Design Archive activist Nick Jenkins has in tow will, we expect, have their work cut out in their call for cash, despite the strong hope of Ãº3m funds from Europe.
A cynical view? Of course. But we’d be delighted to be proved wrong on this one, which is why you can expect regular updates from us on a project too good to fail.