After more than a decade of working together to take the Design Museum from a small specialist institution to an award-winning museum dedicated to contemporary design and architecture – and overseeing its move to its present home in a refurbished 1960s landmark in Kensington – Deyan Sudjic and Alice Black will step down in January 2020 from their positions as Co-directors of the Design Museum.
Under Sudjic and Black’s leadership, the museum has seen annual visitors grow from 120,000 to 600,000. It has also staged more than 90 exhibitions and installations on contemporary design of all kinds, from fashion to technology, and was named European Museum of the Year in 2018.
Sudjic was appointed as Director in 2006 and conceived the strategy for a major expansion of the museum, including offering free admission for the first time and featuring a permanent display to give the wider public an insight into the nature of the design. He also initiated the Designs of the Year Award in 2007, the Designers in Residence programme that supports emerging designers, and a series of highly successful exhibitions including the first UK retrospective on the work of Zaha Hadid. Sudjic will become Director Emeritus from January 2020 in recognition of his curatorial and creative leadership.
Alice Black joined as Deputy Director in 2007 to lead the transformation of the institution and its move; she also developed innovative learning programmes and commercial funding streams. Black oversaw the development of the exhibitions ‘Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier’ and ‘Christian Louboutin: 20 years’, which both achieved critical and box office success. In recognition of her significant contribution, she was appointed Co-director when the museum reopened in its new home in 2016.
Terence Conran, Founder of the Design Museum said, “Moving the Design Museum to Kensington is the most significant moment of my whole career in design because it allowed all my early dreams and ambitions to come true. We have created a world-class museum with the size and scope for the serious promotion and celebration of design and architecture in this country. I am eternally grateful to Deyan and Alice for their outstanding work in leading and realising this vision, and for the three successful years we have enjoyed in our museum’s new iconic home. They have created the robust foundations that will ensure the Design Museum continues to promote the importance of design to our country for decades to come.”