The Design Museum in London has been named the European Museum of the Year for 2018. Announced at an awards ceremony in Warsaw, Poland; the Design Museum was one of 40 finalists including the Science Museum in London, National Gallery of Ireland and the Helsinki City Museum to win the prestigious award.
The European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) was founded in 1977, by Kenneth Hudson and Richard Hoggart, under the auspices of the Council of Europe, with the aim of recognising excellence and innovation in the European museum sector. Each year, an international judging panel visits up to 50 museums to select a winner that demonstrates best museum practice in innovation and accessibility. Previous winners of the award include the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Founded by Sir Terence Conran, the Design Museum opened in 1989 in a former banana ripening warehouse on Shad Thames, south east London before moving to Kensington High Street in 2016. The move tripled the museum’s size to 10,000m² and enabled it to open, for the first time, a free permanent display of its collection. The move to Kensington also enabled the museum to improve its learning programmes with a 500m² world-class campus offering hands-on courses for families, young people and adults alike.
“Being named European Museum of the Year 2018 is a remarkable achievement for the Design Museum, its staff, trustees and supporters. Created nearly 30 years ago by Sir Terence Conran, the museum shows the power of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in design,” commented the museum’s co-director Alice Black. “Having reopened in November 2016 in Kensington, west London, the museum has already welcomed over 1 million visitors to its exhibitions, learning programmes, events, and talks. To be recognised by its European peers as the best museum in 2018 is wonderful accolade, and celebrates our common European future.”