Design Museum

Category: Museums and libraries

The Design Museum is a museum in Shad Thames, near Tower Bridge in central London. It covers product, graphic, fashion and architectural design. It was founded in 1989 and claims to have been the first museum of modern design and attracts around 200,000 visitors annually.

The museum is housed in a former 1940s warehouse, which was altered beyond recognition in the conversion to resemble a building in the International Modernist style of the 1930s.

Upon the completion of the building in 1989, the museum’s first director, Stephen Bayley, resigned. The museum’s history has been characterised by such resignations: In 2004, the billionaire inventor James Dyson resigned from the board of trustees because he felt the museum was putting too much emphasis on form over function. This was following an exhibition of the 1950s flower arranger Constance Spry, mounted by the museum’s director Alice Rawsthorn, who also resigned in 2006.


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