Designing a truly 21st Century Museum

Friday 12th December, 2014 | 8am-9.30am

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
20 Tottenham Street

The V&A is the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design.

Under the leadership of Moira Gemmill, director of design and FuturePlan, the museum has an enviable reputation for commissioning leading architects and designers to work on both temporary exhibitions and permanent galleries.

 The museum also encourages emerging practices and is one of the few major institutions that believe in the value of the competition process for major projects.

Now, the V&A faces one of the biggest challenges in its 162-year history, the building of a new museum in Stratford east London, part of the Olympicopolis development announced this summer and the transition from a single to multiple venues, in central London, east London and Scotland.

 While the V&A’s plans will enable more of its permanent collection to be displayed, how does the museum  create differentiation between venues whilst maintaining a singular vision ?

 Moira will explain how it sees the future of museums in a world of rapid change, why it has adopted ‘rapid response collecting’ and finally the role of architecture, and how she believes the message begins with the building.

Please note: the talk will begin at 8.30am. There will be coffee and croissant served from 8am kindly provided by FCBS.


Moira Gemmill is Director of Design, Exhibitions & FuturePlan at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She leads the planning and implementation of FuturePlan – the V&A’s on-going programme of restoration, refurbishment and redesign of its galleries and public spaces, chairs the V&A’s Exhibitions Steering Group and acts as design champion for the V&A across all 2 and 3D presentation.
A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Moira joined the V&A in 2002 as Head of Design, later becoming Director of Design & FuturePlan in 2005. Over the past ten years she has lead the internal and external teams that have transformed much of the V&A estate. Many projects have received prestigious awards from the cultural and design sectors.
Moira has been responsible for the V&A Dundee project and serves on the board of Design Dundee Limited - the charitable company established in 2010 to deliver the new museum. She is also responsible for developing the concept for a new V&A in Stratford. In 2011 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of the Robert McCann Trust and currently serves on the Board of S.E.G.D. – the U.S. based not-for-profit society for communication design in the built environment.