The Design Museum
The Design Museum can be found near Tower Bridge, next to the river Thames in London, and is the worlds first museum of modern design. It was founded in 1989 by Terence Conran and Stephen Bayley, and houses examples of product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The museum landed the number 2 spot on The Times's 2007 list of the top 5 museums of the year.
The museum actually operates as a charity, and is not subsidized by the UK Arts Council, therefore there is a slight entrance fee, unlike most other London museums. All money raised from the sale of entrance tickets goes towards helping the museum create and gather new exhibitions, which are viewed by around 200,000 visitors every year.
The building itself could be considered a work of modern art, and was originally a 1940's banana warehouse believe it or not! The buildings conversion, which was funded by many different companies and benefactors, obviously majorly altered its overall appearance, and was designed mostly by the Conran group, to represent the International Modernist style of the 1930s.
The museum now has two floors of exhibitions open to the public, a ground floor with a shop and cafe, and a mezzanine or 'balcony' floor between the first two floors (which is primarily used for private events and Design Museum talks).
The Design Museum also runs and plays host to the annual Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, which explores the countries 'most innovative, interesting and forward looking designs' of that year, in which there are seven different categories! The individual winners of each category are announced in February.
Terence Conran very generously donated £17.5 million in 2011, so that the museum can move from its current site to a much larger site in West London. This transfer is planned to be complete by 2014.