Design Museum

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Design Museum. Photo by Aurelien Guichard.

Design Museum. Photo by Aurelien Guichard.

The Design Museum is one of several nationally and internationally recognised museums located in Bermondsey. It’s located not far from Tower Bridge and focuses exclusively on Modern design, distinguishing it from the Victoria and Albert which encompasses a much wider period of design and arguably often neglects modern periods.

The museum opened in 1989 so is relatively new, but already it has achieved a lot of popularity and the newspaper The Times listed it as their second favourite museum in 2007 in their yearly awards for best museums. Sadly because the museum doesn’t get funding from the Arts Council it isn’t free. But it’s still a charity and all the money from the entrance fee goes towards the cost of putting on the exhibits. Despite charging there’s 200,000 people visit annually which given the amount of free choices available is particularly impressive.

The building of the design museum used to be a 1940s banana warehouse, but it was so heavily modified it now looks more like a 1930s international style house! Sadly for Bermondsey there’s plans a foot to move the museum to West London at the former Commonwealth Institute.

The museum is perhaps most famous for its annual design awards which celebrates the design designs and innovation in areas as diverse as graphics and furniture, fashion and transport.