A designerly learning New Year

Design Museum view04A designerly learning New Year to all – may it be replete with creativity, courage and kindness. We have a thrilling (if challenging!) year ahead, with our new site due to open at the end of 2016.

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While the end of 2015 saw us bid a fond farewell to Flora, Audience Development Manager for our HLF Activity Plan for Learning, we also welcomed Claire Robinson  into the team with a remit for Volunteering and Community Engagement. Claire will be blogging on her activities soon and is already proving to be a transformative force for the museum, further strengthening our connections within the borough of RBKC and enabling us to be rooted in the locale before we open. Audiences are at the core of our programmes, and the work of strengthening connections between learning and audiences has been furthered by an expansion of my remit to include Visitor Experience, led by Paul Gibbons  (who will likewise be blogging in due course).

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Projects underway currently for learning include forging new partnerships for our young audiences and teacher programmes;  inputting into a new museum-wide Customer Relationship Management system; planning the learning and research decant from Shad Thames into Kensington; finalising our FF&E schedule and content (‘fixtures, furniture and equipment’) and ongoing programme development, including developing a nascent research programme.

Meeting the practicalities of forward planning whilst enabling time to think and develop content in a considered and informed way is an ongoing balancing act, met collectively through our monthly ‘transition sessions’ and individually through research, publication and  presentations. In December I gave a Pecha Kucha presentation at ‘Between the Discursive and the Immersive’, a conference on research at the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark in which I  advocated for an active, outward facing role for research across curation, learning and visitor engagement. Tom Wilson , Head of Collection and Research, will take this programme forward, starting with an AHRC funded series of research ‘summits’ in the summer exploring what a Design School for today’s complex world might look like.  Underpinning all our endeavour is a deeply held commitment and ambition for twenty-first century learning which will help create the people the future needs: creative and collaborative thinkers, focused on design as a democratic, inclusive and enabling activity.

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Thank you so much for joining us on our journey to date, and do please keep reading our blog as we enter this exciting next phase of our transition towards the Design Museum Kensington. Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be quite a ride!


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