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Design Museum chiefs Sudjic and Black to step down

Deyan sudjic obe alice black photo credit phil sharp
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Deyan Sudjic and Alice Black are to step down from running the Design Museum at the end of January after more than a decade in charge

The co-directors have worked together at the museum for 12 years and oversaw the £82 million move from a former banana warehouse near Tower Bridge to its current home, the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, which was revamped by John Pawson and opened in 2016.

The move tripled the available space and increased annual visitor numbers from 120,000 to 600,000.

Sudjic said: ‘We have shown that design can change the world, and that the Design Museum has changed design. Now I want to see where design is going next.’

Black added: ‘Having established the Design Museum in its new home, after record visitors this year, I am now ready for a new challenge.’

Since Sudjic’s appointment in 2006, the museum has staged more than 90 exhibitions and there have been touring exhibitions across Europe, Japan, Korea and for the first time in China. In 2018, the Design Museum was named European Museum of the Year. This year Sudjic curated Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, which attracted 170,000 visitors, making it the most successful exhibition in the museum’s history.

From January 2020 he will be director emeritus.

Stanley kubrick the exhibition image credit ed reeve

Stanley kubrick - The Exhibition

Source: Ed Reeve

Stanley Kubrick - The Exhibition

Black joined as deputy director in 2007 to lead the transformation of the institution and the move to its new home in Kensington High Street. She developed the exhibitions Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier and Christian Louboutin: 20 years, which were both critical and popular successes. She was appointed co-director when the museum moved to its new home in 2016.

The museum’s founder, Terence Conran, 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.

‘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.’ 

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