Design Museum reaches one million visitors in new Kensington home

The Design Museum has welcomed its one millionth visitor less than a year and a half after moving to its new home in Kensington.

Its founder Sir Terence Conran said he was “astounded and delighted” by the success of the institution, which took nearly six to reach the same landmark in its old home in Shad Thames.

The £83 million move to the former Commonwealth Institute tripled the size of the museum and allowed it to open a free permanent display as well as two temporary galleries, a 210-seat auditorium and a restaurant.

Its current show, Ferrari: Under The Skin, has more than £140 million of classic cars on display. It is its most popular exhibition so far, with 90,000 visitors to date.

Sir Terence said: “The move has been everything I dreamed it could be, with visitors of all ages and backgrounds being inspired and engaging with design in new and interesting ways.

“Design is vital to our economy, our culture and the way we live, so I am delighted that our museum continues to lead the way in debating and ­exploring how we can shape the world around us.”

Its success is a bright spot in a period in which visitor numbers have been falling at some of the capital’s biggest attractions. 

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Deyan Sudjic, the museum’s co-director, said: “To have one million people visit us already in our new home is a wonderful endorsement of the Design Museum’s vision. We see design as something that matters to everybody, a subject too important to be left to specialists. Our visitors have proved how right that belief is.”

A gallery showing only Iranian art opens in Westminster tomorrow. Cama (Contemporary And Modern Art) Gallery already has branches in Tehran and aims to open further outlets in the United States. 

Co-founder Riley Frost said: “We have 70 Iranian artists signed exclusively. We are trying to give a true representation of their art, not just those that carry standard Western themes and do well within a Western aesthetic.” The gallery is at 19 Dacre Street, SW1H 0DJ.

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