Design Museum Collection

The Design Museum Collection is made up by over 3000 objects that range from the early Modernism of the 1900s to the cutting edge of contemporary design. The Collection tells the history of design in mass production and includes furniture, lighting, domestic appliances and communications technology and is an important record of the key designs which have shaped the modern world.

Please note the Design Museum Collection is currently not on display at the Design Museum.

Collection favourites

The Design Museum presents a 25 Years anniversary update to its collection app. On the 25 of each month, the museum releases exclusive interview videos with some of the industry’s most important designers talking about their favourite object from the Design Museum Collection.

Morag Myerscough

Designer Morag Myerscough talks about her item of choice, the Singer Sewing Machine.


Javier Mariscal

Designer Javier Mariscal talks about his item of choice, the Vespa.


Aitor Throup

Designer Aitor Throup talks about his item of choice, the DC01 vacuum cleaner, designed by James Dyson.


Paul Smith

Paul Smith talks about his item of choice, the Dieter Rams SK5 Phonosuper


Jonathan Barnbrook

Graphic Designer Jonathan Barnbrook talks about his item of choice, the Road Sign by Jock Kinneir & Margaret Calvert.


Sean Perkins

Designer Sean Perkins talks about his item of choice, the Saarinen Tulip Chair.


Design Museum Collection App

The Design Museum Collection App is a free download that presents 59 remarkable objects from the museum Collection, through film, audio, text and photographs. Search by time, material, colour, location, manufacturer or designer. The App was commissioned by the Design Museum and developed by twentysix.

When did you begin collecting?

There have been opportunities all the time, and the museum has accepted interesting donations, and so took the view that it wanted to start a distinctive and targeted collection. The museum is evolving, and growing, without losing its determination to be light on its feet, and now has the opportunity for yet more space at the future home of the new Design Museum in Kensington by 2015.

Are you still collecting?

Yes. In a thoughtful way. As a museum that is about making deeper and wider an understanding of the contemporary, it is inevitable that the Collection will reflect this. But since design, technology and manufacturing methods move so fast, certain products which signify newness, almost immediately become a part of design history.

How much do you have to spend?

The museum has a specific fund for growing the Collection which is a generous donation from the Conran Foundation. This has been helped by the Art Fund, who helped with the cost of acquiring one of Jasper Morrison’s earliest designs, the Handlebar Table.

What are you collecting and why?

The museum is acquiring objects that can help tell the story of what design is to a non specialist audience. Design does not stand still — we have seen the analogue age give way to the digital, and that means that we need to understand how to track that shift, and what it means for everyday life.

Enquire about object donation.