An iPhone and a coffee pot: Designers choose time capsule objects for new Design Museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 September 2012
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a photo of a range of objects including a lightbulb, coffee pot, and i-Phone
© The Design Museum
The Design Museum has today laid its marker for an ambitious new location in London’s Kensington and revealed the contents of a time capsule of iconic design objects to be buried beneath its foundations.

An iPhone, designer coffee pot and a tin of anchovies are among the design classics selected by top designers including Sir Paul Smith and Sir Terence Conran for the capsule.

It will be buried beneath the John Pawson-designed museum developed at the former Commonwealth Institute building and adjoining land on Kensington High Street.

Other leading figures from the world of design and architecture invited to nominate an object include the designer and architect Cecil Balmond, whose eclectic selection features a 2p stamp and a USB containing images of jazz and blues music album covers.

Clothing Designer Margaret Howell nominated Battersea Power Station and opted for a picture of the iconic London landmark. 

Kenneth Grange selected a Cylinder Line Coffee Pot designed by Arne Jacobsen, architect Zaha Hadid chose a model of her MAXXI museum in Rome, and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, weighed in with an Artists’ Tube Map designed by Tracy Emin.

The new museum, due to open in West London in 2015, will have three times more space than at its current building at Shad Thames, enabling it to offer free access to more of its collection.

It will also move closer to its spiritual brethren, the V&A, as well as the other great cultural institutions of Kensington’s cultural quarter including the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and the Serpentine Gallery.

Funding for the ambitious multimillion pound project has come from a variety of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The DCMS and an array of trusts and foundations, including the newly-created Swarovski Foundation, who today confirmed a “major donation” for a new Education Centre at the museum.

The designers and their time capsule contents:

Cecil Balmond: European Union flag, One Euro coin, 2p stamp, USB containing images of jazz and blues music album covers.

Sir Paul Smith: Isle of Man, London 2012 Olympic Games stamps designed by Paul Smith

Sir Terence Conran: iPhone 4S, Tin of anchovies, a bottle of Burgundy

Deyan Sudjic: London 2012 Olympic Torch designed by Barber Osgerby, Team GB cycling helmet, Badoiiing game, 2012 winner of the museum’s Design Ventura competition for 13-16 year-old Design and Technology students

Margaret Howell: Image of Battersea Power Station

Zaha Hadid: Model of the MAXXI museum in Rome designed by Zaha Hadid, Book by Patrik Schumacher, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, Vol.1: A New, Framework for Architecture

John Pawson:
1949 Wish Bone Chair (miniature model) for Hans J Wegner for Carl, Hansen and Son

Kenneth Grange:
Cylinder Line Coffee Pot designed by Arne Jacobsen

Marc Newson: Lockheed Lounge (miniature model) designed by Marc Newson

Thomas Heatherwick and Ingo Maurer:
Standard light bulb

The Mayor for London: Artists’ Tube Maps designed by Tracey Emin

Vivienne Westwood:
Vivienne Westwood London Fashion Week 2012 memorabilia
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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