Meet the team: Transforming the Museum of Childhood



October 21, 2019
Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, March 2019

There are a lot of people on the team tasked with reinventing the V&A Museum of Childhood. We need a wide group of museum professionals invested in the project who have different types of expertise. We need to make sure the objects look their best and are cared for throughout the process. We also need to ensure we create a fun, design-led learning programme for all our visitors, and make sure essential Museum requirements like security and management of the building are fed into the developing design (to name just a few)!

We are also working with a lot of designers. You may have seen some images in the central hall or in articles online of our new Kaleidoscope staircase and landscape. Our base build architects, de Matos Ryan, are working with a team of specialists to improve the infrastructure, or what we call ‘shell and core’ of the museum. We need all of these changes to be designed first so we can provide an essential starting point for how the museum looks and feels. This work will ensure the future building is structurally stable, sounds better, feels warmer in winter and less hot in summer. The changes will help the museum be even more accessible for all our visitors, who have lots of different needs for a great experience.

Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, February 2019
Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, February 2019

Our second team of designers AoC (Agents of Change) are working hard to create new galleries where we will display the V&A collections, as well as the café and shop and other really important spaces in between – like the welcome you receive when you first enter the building. They will be working closely with our Curatorial and Learning Teams, to make sure that our concepts and ideas around the collection can be translated into gallery experiences and inspire creative confidence for all of our visitors.

What is co-design again?

At the V&A Museum of Childhood we believe working with our audiences is the best way to ensure that the design supports a wide range of visitor needs. As part of this collaborative, creative journey we are working with our core user groups such as schools, teachers and families as well as colleagues across the whole V&A, and our architects and designers. We have been finding out some incredible information and given great ideas – these are feeding directly into the designs for the new museum (not to mention keeping us inspired!) If you want to know a little bit more about co-design click here.

Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, March 2019
Co-design workshop with The Teacher's Forum, March 2019
Co-design workshop with The Family Forum, May 2019
Co-design workshop feedback

And last but not least, our team of co-designers are critical in making this a joyful project, ensuring the building reflects the needs of our audiences and one that remains local and loved for the Bethnal Green Community. Our co-designers from Globe, Bangabandhu, Morpeth and local families and teachers have all contributed some amazing ideas for displays. We’re looking forward to working with them again throughout the Winter to help tell the stories for the galleries. We’d like you to be part of the process too, so if you have any questions you’d like our designers to consider please email us at futureplan@vam.ac.uk, drop by the Open Studio at the Museum or speak to our Activity Assistants.

Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, May 2019
Co-design workshop with The Children's Forum, May 2019
Meet the Team wall in Open Studio
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