london: extraordinary stories about ordinary things

© design museum / photography: luke hayes

the design museum features the only collection in th u.k. that's exclusively devoted to contemporary design and architecture. opening today is the permanent collection of 20th century design, a milestone in the institute's journey towards its future venue in kensington in 2015. presented as extraordinary stories about ordinary things, the showcase features a pretty diverse investigation into the impact of design on our everyday life. the exhibition show the surprising origins of famous and lesser known designs, alongside contextual images and documents. the dominant role of plastic is examined with examples of luxury through to everyday plastics from the last 75 years, from small household items to the first examples of plastic furniture in the 1960s.

interestingly, recent uses of plastic include high profile designers such as issey miyake using recycled pet from plastic bottles to create fabrics used in his designs. a section on modernism provides a snapshot of a remarkable and dynamic period of design in the u.k., shown through iconic pieces of furniture, products, textiles and architecture. british identity is explored through objects that define a nation such as the phone box, road signage, the post box, the london 2012 logo and the euro. the story of the development of the london 2012 logo tells how for the first time in history of the games, the olympics and paralympics embraced the same logo. the logo was created to be a ‘design for everybody’ – the exhibition will reveal the design process and thinking behind this symbol of britain as a world stage and allow audiences to interact with it. location: 28 shad thames [bermondsey].

© design museum / photography: luke hayes