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London Design Museum showcases most iconic designs and inventions

Fri, 09 Dec 2011

The London Design Museum has added 13 new exhibits to its collection. The additions come ahead of the Museum's relocation from its current location in the shadows of Tower Bridge to the former Commonwealth Institute across town in Kensington.

The new acquisitions are taken from a variety of backgrounds; from the iconic Tomohiro Nishikado-designed Space Invaders game through the Kalashnikov AK-47 and the Amazon Kindle. We take a look at the most iconic of the 13 new displays.

United Kingdom motorway signage system
The ubiquitous motorway sign is something that is witnessed and unappreciated in equal measure. The standardized typeface, which has not changed to this date, was penned back in 1960 and was designed on effectiveness, its creators stating that ‘style never came into it'.

Space Invaders
The humble arcade machine has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry and has spawned such behemoths as the X-Box and Playstation series. Their forefathers – Space Invaders (1978) and Pac-Man (1980) not only sparked this revolution, but also maintain an iconic cult status to this day.

Kalashnikov AK-47
Perhaps the most iconic firearm of all-time, the AK-47 has gained cult status due to its basic construction and ease of maintenance. Conceived in the mid-1940s by the Soviets to operate in Artic conditions, the cheap production costs, durability and simplicity have given the assault rifle a loyal following across the globe.

Novint Falcon 3D mouse
Novint Technologies developed this unique and hi-tech mouse to give users a more realistic and immersive gaming experience. Using a force-feedback system, the mouse allows gamers to feel texture, shape and the weight of a virtual environment.

Olivetti Valentine typewriter
The 1969 Olivetti Valentine transformed a mundane piece of office furniture into a desirable object. The bright red casing, portability and simplistic nature made it one of the most desirable products of its day. The sad demise of the typewriter in recent years only adds to the iconic typewriter's cult appeal.

Sony TPS L2 Walkman
Japanese electronic giant Sony revolutionized the way we listen to music. No longer confided to ones home, the Walkman made music portable. It's importance and impact on the world couldn't have been predicted as the Walkman made impacts in the cultural and fashion worlds just as much as it did in the music industry.

The full range of additions also include: Stefan Geisbauer's 2010 LookSoFlat prototype lamp; Regency's TR-1 portable radio; British culture magazine ‘The Face'; Joe Wentworth's Ipogeo Lamp; Peter Opsvik's 1972 Tripp Trapp children's chair; Amazon's Kindle 3 as well as Sony's D50 Discman and MZ1 Mini Disc players.

For more information on this and other exhibitions, visit the Design Museum's website:

By John O'Brien