We took the kids to the Design Museum this half term and they were fascinated by how design influences every part of our lives. Situated on the bank of the River Thames, this simple white block building, showcases some really interesting exhibitions that explore everyday objects as well as celebrating the more extraordinary ones.
This month there are two quite different and thought provoking exhibitions; the first looks at the works of fashion designer Paul Smith, and the second is a show curated by Olympic Torch designers Barber and Osgerby presenting objects in mid manufacture stage entitled ‘In the Making’.
On the first floor is the hugely popular exhibition ‘Hello, my name is Paul Smith’ – a homage to the life and works of the colourful British fashion designer. We are taken through his early days in Nottingham, to a mock up of his studio, with examples of his best loved works, and images of his unique fashion boutiques. This was a fascinating look into how Paul Smith takes inspiration from his photography and travels, translating it into his designs in everything from his clothes, to a teapot, the Mini car and even an HP sauce label!
What I found most revealing was the film loop that played Paul’s interview about what inspires him. He comes across as genuine and very enthusiastic about his work, and this is infectious. He demystifies design and encourages you to think about what inspires you from the world around – everyone can do it!
On the second floor was ‘In the Making’ a show about technical curiosity in the manufacturing process. This show inspires young minds to look at the individual parts of useful objects, consider the raw materials, and understand the design and production processes. Some of our favourite highlights included: the front end skeleton of a tube train, a felt sheet used to cover tennis balls and the shiny organically grown blob used to make silicon wafers for microchips.
Entry & Info: A family ticket for two adults and two children costs £35. For more information about getting there and what’s on visit www.designmuseum.org