NEWS: Design Museum Acquires David Bowie’s Blackstar album for Permanent Collection

The singer’s album is one of a number of objects acquired by the museum for its permanent collection. 


New acquisitions to the Design Museum’s collection includes the rainbow flag, David Bowie’s Blackstar album, a coffee cup for astronauts and Oculus Rift’s virtual reality headset.

The museum has a collection that is devoted to contemporary design and architecture important in keeping record of the key designs that have shaped the modern world. It also tells the history of of mass production, from the manufacturing innovations of the nineteenth century up to the digital and making revolution of today.

As well as being one of 2016’s most popular albums, David Bowie’s  (Blackstar) album design by Jonathan Barnbrook is also considered to be one of 2016’s defining designs. The album’s design open-sourced itself following Bowie’s death enabling fans to engage and interact with the symbols.

Also acquired the rainbow flag, originally created by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, is the Design Museum’s first acquisition since moving to its new home in Kensington High Street. It was one of ten designed and created in 1978 and is now one of the most recognisable global symbols to reflect the diversity of the LGBT  community.

The Design Museum has also acquired the Space Cup, a coffee cup used by astronauts in zero gravity. Designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station, the design allows astronauts to drink coffee from an open cup whilst in outer space.

Meanwhile, the collection reflects its aim to  keep up with the latest technological advancements and has acquired the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, through which the headsets allow the user to enter an entirely immersive computer-generated environment.

Finally, to coincide with the museum’s current exhibition, California: Designing Freedom, the museum has also acquired a number of innovations from California that have created a lasting impact on the world of design. The original Frisbee by Wham-O Frisbee from 1958, the Atari VCS/2600 (the home video game console developed by Atari, Inc. in 1977), and the full run of both the Whole Earth Catalog (an American counterculture magazine and product catalogue published by Stewart Brand between 1968 and 1972) and the Emigre magazines .


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