Design Museum named European Museum of the Year 2018

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 14.05.2018
London museum praised for social impact
The Design Museum in London has been named the winner of the European Museum of the Year Award (Emya) 2018.

The museum, which moved to its new home in the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington two years ago, was praised as an “inspiring, socially-aware museum”.

The European Museum Forum, which hands out the award, also acknowledged the museum’s “significant social impact on the community”.

It said: “Without losing its identity, this museum was able to renew and strengthen its public values, reopening with a wide range of new exhibitions along with an intense programme of activities, providing an impressive and memorable experience for its visitors of all ages, achieving accessibility of the highest quality.

“It sets its collections in the context of global technological and cultural knowledge, providing a high level of interactivity, establishing an important democratic and multi-layered intercultural dialogue.”

The museum’s co-director Alice Black described the award as a “remarkable achievement” for the museum and its staff, trustees and supporters.

She said: “To be recognised by its European peers as the best museum in 2018 is wonderful accolade, and celebrates our common European future.”

The Emya ceremony took place over the weekend at the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

A number of other European museums also won awards at the event. The Estonian National Museum in Tartu was named the winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award, which recognises “the most unusual and daring achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society”. The museum won for its “dialogic, multi-vocal, participatory approach” to telling the history of everyday life.

The Betina Museum of Wooden Shipbuilding in Croatia won the Silletto Prize for excellence in working with the local community and volunteers.

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