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“Embarrassing - a zombie institution to avoid”
Review of the Design Museum - MOVED

the Design Museum
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Design Museum in London is dedicated to exhibiting the best contemporary design in every form from furniture to graphics and architecture to industrial design. The museum was created to celebrate, entertain and inform visitors about the wonders of modern design. Exhibitions at the Museum highlight key designs which have shaped the modern world from lighting and fashion through to everyday domestic appliances. Set in an historic Thameside location by Tower Bridge, the Design Museum offers inspirational insights into design and a unique experience for visitors to London.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

I am a practising designer with over 40 years experience in graphic design, advertising and marketing. I am embarrassed for my profession if this is the best we can do to represent it.

I brought a couple of keen schoolchildren to the Design Museum in January 2013 for an investigatory and hopefully educational visit, hoping to be able to show them a representative cross section of British design excellence and possibly even a few recent award winners and stand out projects of particular importance or contemporary relevance that they could use a starting point n the appreciation of design.

My expectations were not wildly high, but I did expect possibly a a basic, useful and inspiring exposition of the values, techniques and achievements of British design.

I was frankly gobsmacked to find what wasn't there.

From a total absence of archive or historical presentation of the heritage and roots of the British design sensibility, to a near-vacuum of relevant examples of contemporary work, all topped off by a superficial treatment of graphic design, there was nothing beyond a crude display of utterly predictable objecs stacked sadly in ghastly faux-storage bin wooden rack shelving like forgotten toys on the dead. lifeless second floor.

Gallery 1.5 was 'not in use' - or perhaps I misunderstood an ironic exhibit on the utilitarian nature of prohibitory notices in the early 21st Century and was supposed to force my way in.

The themed exhibition on the first floor appeared to be in the wrong space - I understand there is already a Crafts Council Gallery for jewellery design. The rest of the large space was filmed with irrelevant and non-communicative, unpurposed decorative art and photography, presumably borrowed from the Tate Modern - which is an art gallery.

The entire exercise was undermined even further by the lack of supporting information or any opportunities for the development of whatever ideas may have been inspired by the lacklustre and predictable range of objects and examples on half-hearted display.

The entrance cost to endure this exercise in creative shortfall was extraordinary, but probably in proportion to the huge degree of disappointment it communicated.

Overall, with the exception of the gift shop, the gallery had the air of a building whose contents were in the process of being evacuated to storage.

Which it is, of course. But If the cost of entrance to the new, presumably rivetingly curated Design Museum in Kensington is extrapolated pro rata on a bang-per-buck basis it will set you back about £350 to get in.

Lazy, uninspiring and dull, everything that British design is not supposed to be.

At least make it free if it's going to be this awful.

2  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (488)
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299 - 303 of 488 reviews

Reviewed January 27, 2013

We had high expectations of seeing some good design across a range of sign disciplines. Instead we saw a very limited display of so called jewellery. It was a bizarre collection of pretentious items. While the admission prices were reduced a little due to part of the museum being reconfigured, it was expensive at £9.50. There are much better displays of art and design at many other venues in London for free or at much enter value for money. The biggest disappointment was not seeing any of the other aspects of design such as architecture, furniture etc. Definitely don't go unless they lift their game.

Thank Alan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

I was completely flabbergasted from that art!In october 2011!

You need to go...this place wait you!

The works of e.paolozzi outside of museum is fantasti !

Thank Vincent B
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed January 16, 2013

If you're into design, whether it's industrial or fashion, it's a place for you. Interesting exhibitions of a high quality. Talks are organised throughout the year with guests like ex-Apple design director Robert Brunner. Shop full of original goodness. A good cafe for lunch. Restaurant with a great view upstairs for dinner.

Thank Sergei G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I will admit up front that I am not a fan of 'modern art' however this was truly appalling. Eg necklaces made out of paper clips or sink strainers. I was accompanied by a 10 year old who say 'I can make better stuff than this'. She was right. The admission fee isn't cheap so I felt, frankly, quite 'ripped off'.

Thank SheanaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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