This is Design’ is an exhibition which celebrates Britain’s visual identity. The journey is documented through the most iconic of British product design spanning the 20th Century.
The exhibition is thematically arranged, highlighting key transitions such as the move from the handmade to the mass-produced, and therefore the following recognition and development of the design profession, cleverly presented through the evolution of the chair.
Similarly the ground breaking transformation of digitalisation is presented in the form of a joystick arcade game from the late ’70s, contrasted with Microsoft’s recent Motor Sensor Control Kinect for Xbox360 – which of course you are invited to play.
Other key exhibits with economic and cultural significance include the Anglepoise lamp, the candlestick telephone and the Moulton bicycle. Margaret Calvert & Jock Kinnear’s road signage, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s 1936 UK traffic lights.
The Traffic Lights, redesigned by renowned british designer; David Mellor in 1966, were commissioned by the Department of Transport as part of the total redesign of the national road traffic sign system. Highlighting the endurance of good design – Mellor’s iconic design is still in use today and are a familiar sight on Britain roads.
For those who find it hard to understand the impact everyday design has on shaping and even influencing the visual identity of Britain; this exhibition demonstrates it in a tangible and exemplary way.
By exploring the relevancies of collecting design, with this exhibition the museum firmly establishes its continued importance in examining the impact and influence of design on the modern world.
The Design Museum is due to relocate from its current home at Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street, west London in 2014.