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Design Museum exterior

The seven wonders of the new Design Museum

The Design Museum has moved to a shiny new building and it's spectacular. We pick the best from its treasure trove of arty delights

Written by
Miriam Bouteba

Housed in a building that is superb example of modern design itself, the new Design Museum also contains some outstanding works of art, representing the epitome of human design. We paid a visit to the sparkling new museum, fresh out of its wrapping, to uncover some of its highlights... 

An AK-47

7. An AK-47

Mikhail Kalashnikov's Soviet assault rifle was a controversial addition to the museum's collection in 2011. Famed for its simplicity and robustness, it's a terrorist icon and has probably killed millions. So, form and function.

6. Futuristic fashion

Remember Cher's incredible computer-run wardrobe in 'Clueless'? Well, the Design Museum has something similar: a 'mirror' that dresses you with images from fashion history.

A friendly robot
Luke Hayes

5. A friendly robot

This giant robotic arm created by designer and computer scientist Madeline Gannon might look like something from a car plant, but in fact 'Mimus' can sense and respond to your presence as you get near her. Aww!-slash-argh!

Björk's 'death mask'
Yoram Reshef

4. Björk's 'death mask'

MIT professor Neri Oxman creates beautiful 'biological fabrications': intricate 3D-printed masks derived from the structure of the wearer, including that of Icelandic pop goddess Björk.

A flatpack refugee centre

3. A flatpack refugee centre

Ikea created this simple shelter to provide safe, dignified emergency housing for people displaced by conflicts and natural disasters. It's on display as part of the Design of the Year 2016 exhibition. Don't worry, it's not self-assembly.

Clothing made of hair
Luke Hayes

2. Clothing made of hair

Designer-in-residence Alix Bizet has made a whole line of clothes from human hair she has collected from hairdressers. Coming out? No, I'm washing my hoodie.

The museum itself
Helene Binet

1. The museum itself

One of the best things about the new Design Museum is the building. The 1960s former Commonwealth Institute has been transformed by architect John Pawson. The best bit? Its incredible parabolic roof which soars above you like a majestic whale.

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