Design Museum London Announces New Additions to Collection

To coincide with the opening of the Design Museum’s latest exhibition, ‘This is Design’, the museum has announced two major acquisitions to its Collection: Britain’s celebrated red telephone box, donated by BT and a set of traffic lights designed by David Mellor.

The acquisitions are both featured in ‘This is Design’ which celebrates and features highlights from the museum’s Collection including the Anglepoise lamp, UK road signs, UK traffic lights, the candlestick telephone and the Moulton bicycle.

The telephone box, also known as the K6 Kiosk, celebrates its 75th birthday this year. It was introduced in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of King George V. The “Jubilee Kiosk”, as it became known, was designed by English architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) and was similar, but smaller than its predecessor the K2, also designed by Sir Giles. The older K2 had not featured outside London, but the “Jubilee” model became the first genuinely standard telephone box to be installed all over the country.

The Traffic Lights, redesigned by David Mellor in 1966.were commissioned by the Department of the Environment as part of the total redesign of the national road traffic sign system. Mellor’s iconic design is still in use today and are a familiar sight on Britain roads.

The Design Museum plans to relocate from its current home at Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street, London, giving it three times more space in which to showcase its world‐class collection, show a wider range of exhibitions, and extend its learning programmes. The remarkable 1960s Commonwealth Institute building has been practically unoccupied since 2001. Its refurbishment will give a neglected London icon a new life and purpose and will revitalise an important area of west London. The new Design Museum is expected to be completed in 2014.

Image: K6 Telephone Kiosk, Photo: Courtesy of BT Heritage

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