Our congratulations to the Design Museum in London today – it has been named the European Museum of the Year for 2018. One of 40 finalists, it beat the Science Museum in London, National Gallery of Ireland and the Helsinki City Museum to scoop the prestigious prize
The annual award was founded in 1977 by Kenneth Hudson and Richard Hoggart with the aim to recognise "excellence and innovation" in the European museum sector. Each year, an international judging panel visits up to 50 museums to select someone that meets these criteria. Former winners include London's V&A, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Founded by Sir Terence Conran, the Design Museum opened its doors in 1989 in a former banana ripening warehouse on Shad Thames, south-east London before moving to its Kensington High Street home in 2016.
The move tripled the museum's size and enabled it to launch, for the first time, a free permanent display of its collection. The move also enabled the museum to improve its learning programmes with a huge world-class campus offering hands-on courses to families, young people and adults alike.
"This inspiring, socially-aware museum includes the visitor in a friendly dialogue and taps into the creative history of design, which it celebrates and documents with ingenuity, historical accuracy and humour," said the European Museum of the Year panel. "It serves as a platform for the promotion of good design worldwide and sets up an important democratic and multi-layered intercultural dialogue, with a significant social impact in the community."
Not a bad year so far for the Design Museum, which welcomed its one-millionth visitor to its new home in Kensington recently, joining its line of successes which include a RIBA London Award, AJ Retrofit Award and a commendation in the NLA Awards. Congrats once again!