miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 3 April 2014

miss b loves.......the Design Museum, London

One of the highlights of my unexpected trip to London last month was a visit to the Design Museum. One ticket gives access to three fascinating exhibitions .....

'Hello My Name is Paul Smith' was due to end in March but by popular demand has been extended until 22nd June. Paul Smith is an established British Designer who combines traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge, innovative design .... 'Classic with a twist' is the way he describes his style. The twist may be a flamboyant lining in a suit or adding vibrant colour to a conventional tweed.

There are recreations of his first tiny shop (just three metres square!), his Covent Garden design studio and his office, which has been described as creative chaos!

The walls of the gallery space are covered with framed prints and photographs including David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Banksy and works sent to him by friends, family and fans too. It's a small part of his collection from the walls and basement of his office.

"Is that a Paul Smith coat?"

Paul Smith loves colour and print ....... 

.....and  we are all familiar with his signature stripes. Apparently yarns or threads are wrapped around pieces of white cardboard to see how well the colours sit next to each other. He developed the brand's identity with clever collaborations and two examples caught my eye ..... My first car was a mini (bright yellow!)

Paul Smith may be a global brand but it's clear that he's still very hands-on, involved in every aspect of the business. A talented photographer, he has taken photographs for many of his campaigns. 

He is keen to credit his wife Pauline's influence. In 1970 she was his girlfriend, a fashion tutor at Nottingham's School of Art and Design and she encouraged him to open his own shop. 

The exhibition ends with his inspirational quote on a giant post-it.

Click here to see the Paul Smith spring/summer 14 collection and his biography here

'Extraordinary stories about ordinary things' is an exhibition devoted to contemporary design, including the evolution of the anglepoise lamp and many familiar items. It investigates the impact of design on our daily life.....key objects which have shaped the modern world and which we so often take for granted ...such as the humble biro ..........

Hard to believe that the LAR armchair was designed by Charles Eames way back in in 1948 and yet it's still so current.

The Tulip chair designed by Eero Saarinen in 1956 has always been a favourite of mine...... 

and we've all probably sat on one of these!

Naational identity is explored through objects which define the nation including a telephone box and motorway signage which was standardised to make life easier and the initial trials took place on the Preston bypass, my home town!! 

The design for the iconic 
telephone kiosk

Before leaving, I visited 'In the Making' curated by design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby where the secrets behing the production of marbles, tennis balls, pencils, Olympic torches etc. were revealed!! 

The production process has been stopped and the objects displayed in their unfinished state giving an insight into the design of everyday things ......

Bentwood chair - another favourite design

So this is how a tennis ball is made!

"We have curated an exhibition that will provide a platform to capture and reveal a frozen moment in the manufacturing process
and unveils an everyday object in its unfinished state. Often the object is as beautiful if not more so than its finished state" Jay Osgerby

PS What an interesting museum shop! 

I've been a fan of Design Museum books for a while. You can read my reviews here, here and here

and I'm looking forward to reading my latest one ........


  1. Morning Miss B, I was curious about your visit at the Design Museum from the previous post and I think must have been very interesting to see all the exhibits. Especially the one about Paul Smith, who is one of my fav designer, caught more my attention, how sweet the dedication to his wife, I didnt know she encouraged him to open hist first shop. Have a good day xo

  2. This is an interesting Exhibition. Paul Smith is popular here in Toronto too. Especially his colourful stripes collection. He is so sweet to his wife Pauline. I would enjoy visiting the Design Museum in London. I also enjoy reading those kind of books from Museums. Have a wonderful week.

  3. That mini is to die for! I want it!!! Interesting post and great photos. :)

  4. Very interesting post....thank you also for your lovely comment on my post yesterday! Have a great weekend!

  5. This museum is definitely very interesting and I'd love to visit it one day! I really like the Paul Smith's stripes and the way he transforms simple objects into art. I didn't know about the chair inventors and I will probably not remember their names but it is interesting to know that for sure! The book you have chosen looks really interesting! Please, share your thoughts when you finish it! :)

  6. Another museum I haven't been to; sometimes I wish I'd wasted less time when I lived in London. This post is very lovely anyway !

  7. Hey, there's the book you introduced me to ha ha. I must get to one of those museums/exhibitions but thank you for making me feel like I was there. The Paul Smith exhibition looks amazing and what a creative concept to remodel his workspace for the world to see. I have one Paul Smith shirt which I adore. I hope you are well.

  8. Super intéressant et l'envie de visiter prochainement ce musée... merci pour ces beaux partages!!!

  9. What a cool museum! Thanks for sharing all the info and pictures!

  10. Wow, that ticket Miss B was priceless! I've heard of Paul Smith! Love that car and Evian bottles :D Love his post it note! Everyday IS a new beginning. I've sat on all 3 of those chairs! I never knew who designed them! That's too cool. The iconic telephone booth. So cool. Fabulous exhibitions!

  11. It looks like a great exhibition! And you know I'm always jealous of you that you can pop into London for that kind of big exhibitions. Sweden is great in culture too, but we're a bit smaller country:) Xo Caroline

  12. LOVE it have a wonderful weekend, I am already planning my next trip to London.. I miss it!

  13. What an interesting art museum. Love all the bright colors. The red phone booth is so charming. I always enjoy going to art exhibits, they are fun. That little car is soooo cute and makes me smile.

    Have a fun weekend.


  14. What a treat this was for you! Paul Smith is definitely a name that pops up when I think of British design. It's great he's still so hands on with his brand. There is a Paul Smith shop by my mom's place and there's always something fun/interesting on display in the window.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  15. Dying to go back to London and visit all of the rich cultural offerings!

    xx Hélène

  16. It's wonderful to hear that his wife encouragement him to live his dream and open his first shop. What an interesting museum! I remember those chairs in the 70's;) I imagine your design book collection is extensive with all of your travel. You newest one;) looks like a good one! Enjoy your weekend;) xxL

  17. I've never heard of Paul Smith, but what a beautiful exhibit! I want to add those books to my reading list! :)

  18. I love the mini I do love paul smith although I have only a few items he has designed. I love his quirkeness and his fun use of colours and fabrics

  19. A great dose of creativity. I am a big fan of Paul Smith. It is always fascinating to get a closer look of the design process of these artists.

  20. The design museum is truly a fantastic place - haha your post is giving me the Londoner's guilt of not taking advantage of the city more!


  21. I'm delighted to visit this museum of your hand! Often I show my students some of the photos of these chairs, and you have made ​​it possible to see them almost live, I thank you for showing it.
    I also loved the designs of the coats with so many colors! and original drawings of the telephone booth wow
    A big KISS!



  22. I think that I have been to the Design Museum once. I like Paul Smith; his designs are so refreshing and unique!

  23. I love exhibitions like these and this one looks so good, would love to visit.

    Krissie x - http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com.au

  24. What a terrific exhibit! So many interesting pieces and great photos darling. Thanks for sharing. XO


  25. Especially loving the fashion and furniture exhibits! You must have ha a ball there . . .

  26. je savais pas que les bouteilles d'evian rayées cetait lui!!


  27. Je n'y suis jamais allée ! ça a l'air pas mal du tout !


  28. The exhibit looks amazing. It has been forever since I have visited a museum. I love museums but living in a small town there are not any nearby. The next time I am away for the weekend I need to schedule a trip to a museum.

  29. I can imagine that it was really interesting to visit this museum - and indeed a nice unexpected surprise :)

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


  30. That zebra print is fantastically funny :)

  31. First, how envious am I that you visited London? And second, how envious am I you saw this exhibit?! So lovely!!


  32. great and inspiring photos!
    happy day!


  33. What a great post miss b, I am particularly fond of the insight on Barber and Osgerby. Paul Smith has actually always been one of my favourites, since my youth. Thanks for sharing another excellent post. I hope you enjoy your week.

  34. I haven't been to the Design Museum for AGES. I must go again soon. Thanks for reminding me. x

  35. I simply love it when art, fashion, intelligence and design are merged and what you get is an amazing range of displays like this, Id like to experience a visit here, looks terrific! I am thankful for your comment. Have a wonderful weekend!

  36. London looks wonderful, it's one of my favorite cities! Wishing I could visit right now!
    xo Mary Jo

  37. Nobody quite does a museum as well as the Brits! Your pics have made me a little homesick :(

  38. this looks great I cannot wait to visit London in the coming years What a fabulous exhibit !! Thanx for the tour!!

  39. Ooooh---- I think I would love these exhibits! Especially the Paul Smith one, I love getting a looking inside a creative mind. :)

    ~Alexis Grace of North On Harper

  40. Really intriguing pictures. I have always wanted walls filled
    totally with frames.Loved your blog. Would you like to follow each other via GFC
    Bloglovin & Google+ ?
    Let me know!


    1. Thank you! I'll pop over to have a look at your blog soon.

  41. Thank you for all your comments.


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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