On Monday, the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Design Museum in Kensington High Street. 60 years ago, he opened the original museum. This is the museum’s new location. It was an established landmark on the banks of the Thames at 28 Haymarket Street.
The re-location of the museum to the ’60’s building once the Commonwealth Institute cost a cool £80 milion. Housed in High Street, the Design Museum is to serve as a place devoted to contemporary design and architecture and to nurture the next generation of design talent in several fields. It will also be a creative hub, promoting innovation.
Whilst there, the Duke unveiled a plaque. He also toured the museum, examining the transformation of the site. In the Display Gallery, the museum’s Deputy Director, Alice Black showed the Duke the ‘crowd-sourced wall’. There are 250 items from almost 20 countries on this wall, all nominated by members of the public. They are everyday designs, according to the press release from Buckingham Palace, they include: “the Tube roundel, an iphone, a London brick, a zip, a wire coat hanger, BIC pen and Moleskin sketchbook.” One item in particular seemed to catch the Duke’s attention – a red bucket.
The Duke has long been a strong advocate for design. The Duke became the Senior Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 1976. In 1959, the Prince Philip Designers Prize was created to award designers of everyday items which have been strong influencers in everyday life, especially in postwar Great Britain. This prize has been awarded for designs of products, graphics, buildings, and accomplishments in engineering. The Duke said of design in an interview earlier this year: “The whole of our infrastructure, from sewers to power supplies and communication, everything that wasn’t invented by God is invented by an engineer.”
The Design Museum location in Kensington features an open atrium surrounded by large staircases, which whill give spectators the great ability to see its ‘hyperbolic paraboloid roof once its opened to the public on 24, November.’
The original designer of the museum, Sir Terence Conran was also integral of its re-location had this to say about the transformation: “I wanted it to be a place where the creative industries call home, because we have a members’ room, a restaurant and I want it to become a meeting place.
“Getting around the building has been so brilliantly done.”