5 Design Museums Around the World

Explore the history of human ingenuity and aesthetics

By Google Arts & Culture

Better Living Through Windows (2013) by Douglas CouplandVancouver Art Gallery

Design is where art meets tech, where creativity and vision combine to bring about innovation. Scroll on, and use the arrows to point, click, and drag your way through 5 museums around the world celebrating ingenuity and aesthetics.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The V&A, as it's familiarly known, was founded in 1852, houses the world's largest collection of sculpture, design, and decorative arts - numbering some 2.3 million objects. The museum sits near the city's Exhibition Row, along with the Natural History Museum and Science Museum.

The museum's sculpture halls are like no other. The carefully crafted facsimiles and plaster casts in these rooms have educated and inspired artists for over 150 years. But some of its holdings are more recent, in 2015 the museum acquired Nguyen Ha Dong’s app Flappy Bird.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian prides itself as the only institution in the USA dedicated to historical and contemporary design. For 120 it has collected and exhibited everything from the rare and unique to the prosaic.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York


The Cooper Hewitt is located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, found on Manhattan's Museum Mile. As well as exhibiting everything from matchbooks and Soviet porcelain to chairs used by Abraham Lincoln, the museum is engaged in educating young and underprivileged students.

Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen

Denmark is recognised around the world for setting high standards and creating innovative objects, from LEGO bricks to Arne Jacobsen's Egg chair. Many Danish designers find their imaginations fired by the objects held at the Designmuseum Danmark.

For students of design, the museum is invaluable. Among the physical collection of posters, chairs, and household objects, the library holds a fully annotated and illustrated database of every single piece of furniture made in Denmark between 1900 and 2000.

Design Museum, London

It always helps when the building itself is a masterpiece. In 2016 the Design Museum moved from a banana warehouse on the banks of the Thames to its new home in the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, not far from the V&A.

Standing in the atrium of London's Design Museum, can you fully appreciate the stunning hyperbolic paraboloid roof, which soars over the open space. The upper floors hold the permanent collection, while downstairs are temporary exhibitions.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

The sleek metal curves of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza are the unmistakable mark of the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who emphasised the 'transparency, porousness, and durability' of the structure, as well as its ecological features.

The undulating walls and bright, white interior make it look like something from A Space Odyssey. These otherworldly spaces contain the exhibition hall, conference hall, design museum, design lab, and other public event spaces.

Better Living Through Windows (2013) by Douglas CouplandVancouver Art Gallery

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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