Why you should go to the Design Museum London
  • January 10, 2017
  • Zac Ghaffar Co-founder, The Inside Edit
    the inside edit on the design museum london

    We went to check out the recently opened Design Museum in Kensington London. After years of being derelict, the former commonwealth institute has had architect John Pawson transform it into an 10,000sqm space. Industry heavy weights such as Terence Conran have been instrumental in its creation and the place promises to be an inspiring and nurturing place for more design talent.


    Anyway, we wanted to hit this place with the kids to see if it’s a place that can be enjoyed as a family or if it remains one of those things you stare at from far away wondering if only I had someone look after the kids for a few hours.





    The walk into the Design museum offers a subtle introduction to space - wide open concrete landscaping and a water feature to offer calm. Through the entrance doors and you’re sucker punched with an involuntary “WOW” – and it really is that impressive. It’s a very welcoming space that doesn’t feel like you need to start walking off into any particular direction.



    From an icon of post-war optimism to a possible icon of post-truth design



    There are lots of way to navigate around the museum, including large auditorium style steps that encourage you to sit and people watch, a lift and then wide stairs that hide the movement of people behind clean lines of oak wood.


    The building has been re-imaged nicely since the glory days of the Commonwealth Institute, I have to say I came across a fascinating video by a man who clearly know what he was talking about on this subject (click here). For Leti she’d rather eat her own hair than sit through this but for the geeks out there, myself included, it was really quite enjoyable!


    From an icon of post-war optimism to a possible icon of post-truth design. There is even a wall dedicated to everyday, affordable items - something the kids will undoubtedly enjoy commenting on, from bicycles and drills to tape measures and paper bags! There are homages to the designs that defined so much of our lives – like the Gameboy and the Megadrive, which no matter how hard I tried explaining, is NOT ‘like an ‘ipad’. And then there’s futuristic stuff too – like an working example of 3D printer.






    The museum encourages you, as both an adult and a child, to sit and read, to get thinking and get creative. And the open plan shop downstairs continues this with offering some very cool things to pick up, and it’s not forced on you as an exit through the gift shop either.


    To sum it up, it’s a wonderful place! Full of thought provoking design and encouraging of creativity for the kids. It’s free, easy to get to and if you feel you haven’t got them quite knackered enough then there’s always Holland Park just next door!


    More Information:


    The museum is located on the corner of Earl's Court Road and Kensington High Street at the entrance of Holland Park. 


    Website: http://designmuseum.org

    Opening times: Open daily 10:00 – 18:00

    Tube: High Street Kensington Station

    Bus: Route  9, 10, 27, 28, 49, C1

    Parking:  No chance



    OKAY I'M ANGRY! If this is not a platform to share your opinions then where else right?! So here it goes, you may have seen Mattel are doing a Barbie version of FRIDA KAHLO, the profoundly inspirational Mexican Artist. Well on the surface it sounds positive – celebrating female cultural icons etc, but it’s in fact not at all what it seems. . . Zac and I adore this woman and are huge fans. Frida Kahlo represented not just a fearless and boundless expression of individuality, but she stood firmly on the side of those in society that were forgotten about. In her art she explored questions of identity, post-colonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. She was simply brilliant, and an inspiration to all us mothers raising daughters. . . Salma Hayek portrayed her brilliantly in the 2002 Bipoic (please watch it if you haven’t already!) and said Frida was “one of the forces that gave me the determination to pursue my career”. . . On to what Mattel are doing. Firstly – despite what some bloggers like to shill on social media, the Barbie doll is not something positive for any child in my view. It does not represent uniqueness, and when Frida becomes SLIM and more LIGHT SKINNED with LIGHT EYES, that’s when lines are being crossed. This is not just cultural appropriation for commercial gain, but the very colonial re-shaping of identity she stood against. . . LEAVE FRIDA ALONE. Rant over. . #fridakahlo #mattel #leaveheralone #views #latin #mexicanculture #salmahayeck #womensday #strongwomen #womenofculture #mummyviews #londonblogger #unique #art #ethnic #celebratinguniqueness #inspirationalwomen #thisisbullshit #barbieisnotunique #notobarbie #femalerolemodels #ithastobesaid
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