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Museumgoers can ‘adopt’ objects from Design Museum
Aug 24, 2016

The Design Museum in London has launched a new campaign, “Adopt an Object,” in an effort to raise funds for its new location at the former Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington. Twelve iconic objects can each be adopted for a donation of about $6.50, among them George Carwardine’s Anglepoise Lamp, which he designed in 1934 as a way to diversify his products, in the process creating a design that is still echoed in desk lamps today; and Fernando and Humberto Campana’s Cartoon Chair (2007), an explosion of Disney characters resembling a pile of child’s toys.


Cartoon Chair by the Campana Brothers

The money raised from the initiative will support the museum’s new location, which was designed by a team led by John Pawson and will open on November 24. For each donation, the adopted object “moves” closer to its destination, as seen on an interactive map on the museum’s website, which shows where each object is in relation to the old and new spaces. Supporters get a thank-you video of the object moving to its new home and annual updates on the piece, as well as having their names listed on the website.


George Carwardine's Anglepoise Lamps

“A museum has to find the most interesting and compelling ways to engage with its audience to encourage them to become more involved with their public programs and activities,” shares Josephine Chanter, the museum’s head of communications and external affairs. “The Design Museum has to be more self-sustaining than many other cultural organizations and is always looking to explore new funding streams to safeguard its financial future.”

Until the new museum opens, the “Adopt an Object” collection will run alongside the “On Loan” program and will be displayed at iconic London locations. The other objects in the collection are a Vespa Clubman, a Valentine Typewriter, an Alessi Melodic Kettle, a My First Sony, a GPO Tele 150, a Trabo Toaster, an Apple iMac G3, a Dyson G-Force Vacuum, Louboutin Pigalle Heels and a Phonosuper SK5.

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