Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We use cookies to personalise your experience; learn more in our Privacy and Cookie Policy. You can opt out of some cookies by adjusting your browser settings; see the cookie policy for details. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Design Museum invites design geeks to riff on its roof

  • 1 Comment

The Design Museum has launched a competition inviting fans of its new parabolic roof to share their enthusiasm for the dramatic tent-like structure

The Riff on the Roof Challenge seeks funny, creative and surprising performances focusing on the Grade II*-listed structure, and is open to all ‘design geeks and architectural anoraks’.

Participants are invited to deliver short presentations explaining how they are inspired by the swooping roof of west London’s former Commonwealth Institute, now transformed into the Design Museum’s new home.

‘This open call invites enthusiasts of all stripes to submit a pitch to convince our panel of experts that you have what it takes to win the Riff on the Roof Challenge and one year’s Design Museum membership,’ says the museum.

‘Candidates will be shortlisted for the final, taking place on 27 November at an event where speakers go head-to-head in a challenge that will test every inch of their architectural acumen and hyperbolic know-how.’

The Grade II*-listed Commonwealth Institute was designed by RMJM in 1962, and has now undergone an £83 million transformation, designed by John Pawson, OMA and Allies and Morrison. It will reopen as the Design Museum on 24 November. 

Applicants must submit a short biography, portrait image and a 90-second video pitch demonstrating their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the structure.

Five finalists will then be invited to participate in a head-to-head competition on 27 November during which they will each deliver a 10-minute public presentation.

The overall winner will receive a 3D printed trophy and a year’s membership to the Design Museum.

The deadline for applications is 7 November.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Not much of the Commonwealth Institute left then - only the roof, shame to see all the copper wall cladding has been removed and replaced by bog-standard curtain walling, and the interior completely gutted - some fine woodwork as I remember all gone! Did the transformation from an exhibition centre to a design museum exhibition centre really need to have been so radical and expensive?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.