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New Design Museum time capsule contents are revealed

18 September 2012

A time capsule containing a variety of design icons was buried during a ground breaking ceremony at the new Design Museum site in London.

Time Capsule Contents at Design Museum. Photo: Dominic French
Time Capsule Contents at Design Museum. Photo: Dominic French

On the eve of the London Design Festival, Founder of the Design Museum Sir Terence Conran, Director Deyan Sudjic OBE and Chairman of the Trustees Luqman Arnold, joined by leading architects and designers, attended a ceremony today to celebrate the ground breaking of the new Design Museum at the former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street in London.

To mark this moment in the development of the Design Museum, a time capsule was buried in the foundations of the new building. Leading figures in the world of design and architecture were invited to nominate an object to be included in the capsule. They include the museum’s Design Circle members, Zaha Hadid, Paul Smith, Norman Foster and Cecil Balmond, as well as Sir Terence Conran and John Pawson.

A major donation for the new museum from Swarovski was also announced today to mark the occasion. The donation will create a world-class Learning Centre for design, enabling the museum to expand and enrich its learning provision threefold through an inspiring design-led education programme for schools, colleges and universities, families, young people, adult learners and professional designers.  

Designed by John Pawson, the new Design Museum is planned to open in 2015. The move will give the museum three times more space, free access to its unique collection and bring it into Kensington’s cultural quarter where it will join the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and Serpentine Gallery.

The museum has made great progress toward raising the necessary funds to complete the new Design Museum project, having secured £36.3 million to date in pledges and donations from: The Atkin Foundation The Conran Foundation, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation The Hans and Marit Rausing Charitable Trust, the Arnold Foundation, the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust, Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, Swarovski, The Wolfson Foundation, The 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, and a number of generous individual benefactors. The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the project £4.65m in July 2012. 

Chelsfield, developer of the whole site, has donated the building and land valued at £15 million, together with £20 million towards the cost of redeveloping the building.

The time Capsule contents and the names of those who chose them:

Cecil Balmond  
European Union Flag 
One Euro Coin
2p Stamp
USB containing images of jazz and blues music album covers, including John Coltrane and Bing Crosby

Sir Paul Smith 
Isle of Man, London 2012 Olympic Games Stamps designed by Paul Smith

Sir Terence Conran  
iPhone 4S
Tin of Anchovies 
A good bottle of 2012 Burgundy 

Deyan Sudjic 
London 2012 Olympic Torch designed by BarberOsgerby
Badoiiing game, 2012 winner of the museum’s Design Ventura competition for 13-16 year-old D&T students

Margaret Howell      
Image of Battersea Power Station

Zaha Hadid
Model of the MAXXI museum in Rome
Book by Patrik Schumacher, The Autopoiesis of Architecture, Vol.1: A New Framework for Architecture

John Pawson
1949 Wish Bone Chair (miniature model) for Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen and Son 

Kenneth Grange
Cylinder Line Coffee Pot designed by Arne Jacobsen

Marc Newson
Mini Lockheed Lounge

Thomas Heatherwick 
Ingo Maurer

Standard light bulb

The Mayor for London
Artist's Tube Maps

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