The exhibition is based around a series of design stories, each looking at what insights can be gained from seemingly routine objects.
Jasper Morrison’s Handlebar Table, for instance, is made from glass, wood and two recycled handlebars. Gemma Curtin, the curator of the exhibition, says Morrison’s use of ready-made materials makes the viewer ‘look at mass production with new eyes’.
The London 2012 Olympic Games logo will also be featured, joining David Mellor’s square telephone box, motorway signs from Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert and the Euro coin as part of the National Identity section, which explores the everyday objects that have helped shape their countries.
Several works will take the spectator down memory lane, including a beige and lilac-coloured Dyson vacuum cleaner circa 1986 and a retro-looking Apple Mac designed by Jonathan Ive in the late 1990s.
The Materials and Processes section examines how designers have worked with plastic over the last 75 years and how the material can be used today. Stand out pieces include a Charles Eames armchair from 1948 and an Issey Miyake lamp constructed out of recycled plastics.
Function of Fashion has what the Design Museum calls a ‘dress diary’ of one woman’s wardrobe from the 1980s and 1990s, a personal collection which includes McQueen, Kenzo and Chanel, while Icons looks at archetypal designs, in this case the classic Anglepoise lamp.
Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things will be at the Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, SE1 from 30 January 2013 until 2015.