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The Design Museum 2012

Fig.1. Lawrence Lek at the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London.

Seen it once, then again with my 14 year old son – and for a third time with my 16 year old daughter next week. Potentially with other members of our extended family and friends too. I should have bought a season ticket.

The Design Museum is unique – I spent time with EVERY exhibit. I need a couple of hours every day over ten days. That’s how much it resonates with me – the stories, the process, the end result.

There are three galleries:

FIRST FLOOR

Fig.2. Jessica Ennis takes the stairs to the first floor seven at a time

Innovation in Sport – design with a bias towards the Olympics and Paralympics, with Formal 1, Le Mans, hand-gliding, surfind and a few other sports too. Sixteen sports people silhouettes on the walls in the stairwell – how do you physically match up to Jessica Ennis, Messi, Phelps or Sharapova?

SECOND FLOOR

Fig. 3. A 3d rendering of a crystal whose shape is formed by your presence and movement (courtesy of a Konex device and a laser)

Digital Memory – a dozen designers, architects and conceptual artists play with Swarovski crystal to express what memory is. Most mind blowing, all beautifully displayed with headsets explaining what is going on in the artist’s words and other interactive screens – and ‘augmented’ content from wif-fi and 3g.

SECOND FLOOR – SECOND GALLERY

Fig. 4. Yuri Suzuki at the Design Museum

Designers in Residence – six young innovators set a brief, there journey of discovery, experiment and creation lovingly recreated with video, artefacts, audio and displays – and a take-away booklet.

With half-term upon us where do you recommend taking children, young adults and their friends? How does this change if you are their grandparent or parent of a friend? Can you cater for them all? What might it cost?

The cost of getting into the Tower of London made my jaw-drop – £23 for an adult? £55 for a family ticket!! I think I’ll leave it for another 1000 years.

The Wellcome Foundation ‘Super Human’ exhibition and other galleries are free (and lunch is great too).

The Design Museum was £11 for an adult, £7 for a student

Where in the world do you go? We all have our favourites.

 

Parents

9th July 2012

Who said your perspective on life changes when your parents are no longer alive?

It makes life feel terribly short.

You reflect on the life of the person who has just passed away (or is on that path)

Twice last year I create a ‘Book of Condolences’ for colleagues which in the immediate week and then for a few months gather some 100 or 70+ comments respectively.

As someone said, ‘funerals are for the living’.

Sorry to sound downbeat, but I do wonder ‘what is the point?’ Short of completing the animalistic duty of reproduction. Growing old can be enjoyed with marriages, births and memorable anniversary but there comes a point when even the grandchildren are forging lives of their own and the generations forget that the oldest generation is still with us.

Especially if you are part of what I call the ‘splat generation’, those kids who went away to university (when the government and local authority was paying for it) and don’t go back.

On reflection I’d have liked to have bound our extended family more closely, that having us in the same town/region or community would have benefited everyone, not least from the love, encouragement and ‘life-lessons’ we pick up from each other’s behaviours (mistakes especially).

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