“MOVING THE DESIGN MUSEUM TO KENSINGTON CEMENTS OUR VISION; TO BUILD A WORLD CLASS SPACE WITH THE SIZE AND SCOPE FOR THE SERIOUS PROMOTION AND CELEBRATION OF DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE IN THIS COUNTRY.”
— Sir Terence Conran, Founder and Trustee

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The Design Museum was founded by Sir Terence Conran on Shad Thames in 1989, with a vision to create the world’s greatest museum of contemporary design in London.

On November 24th 2016, the Design Museum opened the doors to its new location on Kensington High Street. Housed within a 1960s modernist landmark building which has been redesigned by John Pawson, the project is the culmination of a four-year construction process and increases the museum's size to 10,000m². With a budget of more than £80 million, the building has been transformed, creating a new atrium, basement and a free permanent collection display.

The new Design Museum will be the leading museum of contemporary design and architecture - an international showcase for the many design skills at which Britain excels. It will be a creative centre which promotes innovation and nurtures the next generation of design talent. 

The expansion of the space was undertaken with futurity in mind, with the brand new Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning, the Bakala Auditorium and a dedicated gallery to display its permanent collection, accessible to the public free of charge. It will bring the museum into Kensington’s cultural quarter, where it will join the Royal College of Art, V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Serpentine Gallery. 

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The first exhibition from the museum’s Chief Curator, Justin McGuirk will open the new museum.  Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World is about our hopes and doubts about the pace and impact of change. The annual flagship Beazley Designs of the Year will return for its ninth outing, and the museum’s permanent exhibition, Designer Maker User, tells the story of contemporary design through these three interconnected roles using items from the museum’s own collection.