Tim Burton, Barbie and Enzo Mari – the Design Museum announces 2024 exhibition programme - FAD Magazine

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Tim Burton, Barbie and Enzo Mari – the Design Museum announces 2024 exhibition programme

Design Museum announces 2024 exhibition programme today revealing its full exhibition programme for 2024, with three major figures taking centre stage.

Due, La Pera screen print for Danese Milano, 1963, by Enzo Mari – Design Museum announces 2024 exhibition programme

Visitors will be able to step into the world of director and creative force Tim Burton in a major exhibition from October, just in time for Halloween. One of the most significant Italian designers of the 20th century — Enzo Mari — will have a career-spanning retrospective from March. And coinciding with the 65th anniversary of the Barbie brand in 2024, a major show from July will explore the design evolution of one of the world’s most famous dolls.

2024 is going to be an exciting year for the Design Museum. Our exhibitions will not just spotlight very different kinds of creative individuals, they will also show how design both shapes and reflects everything in the world around us, from serious play and global entertainment to design as activism. We invite everyone to come and see us for what will no doubt be a creative, dynamic and thought-provoking 12 months in the nation’s design hub here in Kensington.

Tim Marlow, Director and Chief Executive, Design Museum

Major Exhibitions 

Enzo Mari curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli 29th March — 08th September 2024 Associate Sponsor: Istituto Marangoni

16 animali(16 animals), 1959, produced by DaneseMilano. Photo Federico Villa
16 animali (16 animals), 1959, produced by Danese Milano. Photo Federico Villa – Design Museum announces 2024 exhibition programme

One of the most significant Italian designers of the 20th century, Enzo Mari’s life and work has inspired generations of creatives around the world. This major retrospective comes to the UK after debuting at Triennale Milano in 2020. The original exhibition opened just before his death, aged 88.  Not only a designer, Mari was also an artist, teacher and theorist. During his prolific career, he created countless enduring and timeless designs, filling the homes and streets of the Milanese and beyond. An outspoken critic of the design industry, his uncompromising belief in the social responsibility of design resonates powerfully today, as we face ecological and ethical issues with ever greater urgency. 

This exhibition, produced by Triennale Milano, spans Mari’s 60-year career. It will bring together hundreds of his projects, ranging from furniture, children’s books and games, product and graphic design, to more conceptual installation-based works. Archival material will provide greater insight into Mari’s research process, and the key principles that guided and unified his work. Complementing this will be a number of tributes from contemporary international artists and designers, which reflect on Mari’s extraordinary life and legacy.

The exhibition is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli. It is curated for the Design Museum by Rachel Hajek. The show has additionally toured to C-Mine in Genk, Belgium.

Barbie®: The Exhibition 5th July 2024 — 23rd February 2025

1985 Day to Night Barbie. Photo: Mattel, Inc
1985 Day to Night Barbie. Photo: Mattel, Inc

Opening to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Barbie™ brand in 2024, this exhibition will explore the design evolution of one of the world’s most famous dolls. Through a new partnership with Mattel Inc., the Design Museum has been granted special access to the extensive Barbie archives in California, and dozens of rare and unique items will go on show alongside other key loans and acquisitions to tell the story of the iconic brand over the past six-and-a-half decades. The exhibition will be curated by the Design Museum Curator Danielle Thom and will map the Barbie legacy that started in 1959 when Ruth Handler wanted to craft a different narrative for her daughter, Barbara. It will go on to explore the story of Barbie through a design lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design.

The World of Tim Burton 25th October 2024 — 21st April 2025

Surrounded, 1996 , © Tim Burton

Tim Burton is the creative force behind some of the most celebrated films of the last four decades. He is internationally recognised as a master of the comically grotesque and the endearingly misfit. This major exhibition will invite visitors into his world through an exploration of his unique aesthetic universe. While most well-known for his cinematic work, this show will display the full extent of his production as an illustrator, painter, photographer, and author, as well as exploring some of the key collaborations which helped shape his world. As a multi-disciplinary artist his creations extend beyond the limits of mediums and formats. Drawn from Tim Burton’s personal archive and representing the artist’s creative output from childhood to the present day, this exhibition of drawings, paintings, photographs, sketchbooks, props, sculptural installations, storyboards and set design focuses on the recurrent visual themes and motifs found in the distinctive characters and worlds found in Burton’s art and films.

The exhibition is organized by Jenny He, Independent Curator, in collaboration with Tim Burton and adapted by Maria McLintock for the Design Museum. Its run at the Design Museum in London will be the final stop in a decade-long world tour for the show and its only ever showing in Britain.

Free Displays

Ralph Saltzman Prize 1st February – 15th April 2024

The Ralph Saltzman Prize 2023. Photographer: Andy Stagg.

Returning to the Design Museum for its third year, The Ralph Saltzman Prize celebrates emerging product designers, in recognition of Ralph Saltzman’s design legacy. Created by Lisa Saltzman on behalf of the Saltzman Family Foundation, the Prize reflects the Design Museum’s overarching commitment to champion new talent and nurture the development of a vibrant design sector. Each year, a panel of design luminaries handpick a number of the brightest emerging designers currently making waves in the field of product design. The winner, selected for their innovative approach to contemporary themes, receives a £5,000 honorarium and has their work displayed in the Design Museum.

Furniture designer Mac Collins was selected as the inaugural prize winner in 2022, with Marco Campardo as the second recipient in 2023.

Design Ventura 25th April – June 2024

Design Ventura 2022 – 3 Winners. Photographer: Richard Heald

Design Ventura is an annual design and enterprise competition for schools, run by the Design Museum in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s global youth engagement programme ‘Born to Be’ to nurture a new generation of design thinkers. Now entering its fourteenth year, the competition sees schools compete to have their product idea manufactured and sold in the Design Museum Shop. Since 2010 over 122,250 students have participated in the project. The 2023/24 competition brief has been set by Kangan Arora, a South London-based designer specialising in textiles. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Design Museum, and the two-month display of shortlisted and winning entries will follow. Design Ventura is delivered in partnership with Deutsche Bank.

Design Researchers in Residence: Solar, June – September 2024

Design Researchers in Residence 2022/3: Islands display. © Felix Speller for the Design Museum

Design Researchers in Residence was established to support emerging design thinkers whose research responds to the climate emergency, building upon the museum’s Designers in Residence programme that ran from 2007 to 2020. The residency forms part of the Design Museum’s Future Observatory, delivered in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The 2023/4 residents will respond to the theme of ‘Solar’, investigating ways in which design can influence our rapidly changing relationship with the heat and light of the sun. This year’s Design Researchers in Residence are April Barrett, Eliza Collin, Jamie Irving and Freya Spencer-Wood

The programme will culminate in a publication and free public display at the museum in June 2024, through which visitors will learn about a range of impactful new thinking that centres design in the green transition.



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