Morag Myerscough creates the first permanent exhibition of the new Design Museum


Designer Maker User was designed by Studio Myerscough and curated by Alex Newson, with the aim of creating a space that explores the two-way relationship between designers and consumers.

© Gareth Gardner

Morag Myerscough designed the new Design Museum‘s first permanent exhibition, Designer Maker User.

Studio Myerscough has worked with exhibition curator Alex Newson for the past five years on the permanent exhibition space, which features a hand-picked selection of the Design Museum’s 8,000 product archives. The consulting firm was chosen to carry out the project after winning a competitive pitch.

The space also features a wall of selected creations submitted by visitors and fans of the Design Museum via social media, which aims to break down the lines between designer and consumer, Newson said. This wall will alternate products frequently, as more and more people submit their ideas.

Product displays include items such as the London 2012 Olympic Torch, the Walkman, iPhone models and Valentine typewriters.

It also includes an overview of London’s transport systems and the accompanying guidance systems, and aims to include more abstract design concepts that challenge the idea of ​​what design is.

“It’s not for us to say to the public, ‘This is what we think is design,’ he says. “We wanted to hear the opinions of visitors and ask people about the design that resonates with them. ”

“Everyone needs each other”

Rather than being divided into sectors such as graphics, furniture and product design, the exhibition is divided into three sections – designer, user and manufacturer. The space has not been divided into very distinct or separate sections, but is “layered,” Myerscough explains, so visitors can see through other spaces and exhibits wherever they are.

“Designers need manufacturers or fabricators, and they need to respond to users as well,” Myerscough says. “There’s not just one linear approach, it’s layered. Everyone needs each other, and one doesn’t happen without the other.

“Spaces connect with each other – you can look at a computer, and then there will be something else behind, and something else behind it,” she says. “But you can also look at everything in isolation.”

The Designer segment looks at the thought processes of the designer, while Maker looks at the evolution of manufacturing products and User explores the interaction between consumers and the designs they experience in everyday life.

“It’s totally open”

Materials were used to reflect the different sections of the exhibit – for example, reused school lab wood counters were used for the Maker section, which Myerscough says she “hopes to wear out” over. time to show the evolution and changing nature of the exhibit.

“Permanent exhibitions always mean that they have an end and that it stops,” Myerscough explains. “It’s totally open. It’s about questioning things as a visitor.

Myerscough and Newson hope the exhibition will encourage visitors who are not professional designers to think about design in a new way.

“It’s an ongoing investigation”

“We want people to walk away and think back to the things they’ve seen, see some creations on Main Street on their way home, and better understand how they’re created and how they affect them,” Newson says.

“What I particularly like are the people who tell each other stories when they visit,” Myerscough explains. “As parents used to tell children when they had a particular camera. I would like people to come and then feel they need to come back to get something else out of it. It is an ongoing investigation.

Myerscough also created a touching and colorful graphic which sits outside the exhibition space, which uses a mechanical display panel mechanism to alternate between the words “Designer”, “Maker” and “User” .

“We looked at the digital walls, but the rhythm of the mechanical wall is a lot nicer,” she says. “We also wanted to do something that you can see from the ground floor. The exhibit is at the top, and we wanted to attract people up there.

“As a person, you can log in as a designer, manufacturer or user,” she adds. “That way people could choose who they wanted to be. “


Designer Maker User is the Design Museum’s first permanent exhibition space and admission is free. It will take place at the new Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6AG from November 24, 2016.

The new design museum.  © Gareth Gardner
The new design museum. © Gareth Gardner

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