15 Design Museums To Unlock Your Design Creativity

Creative inspiration is a very fickle thing for designers. Sometimes it comes at a very sudden time, while some wait for a very long time to find inspiration at all. Inspiration is subjective – just as beauty is subjective in the eye of its beholder. Designers are artists who hold their inspiration in high regard. They can find inspiration in the simplest and most complicated subjects – it’s just a matter of mood and interpretation.

Some designers lock themselves in a room to find inner inspirations. Others travel around the world and hope to find interesting subjects they can draw inspiration from. With the goal of helping designers find creative inspiration for their next artworks in mind, we have listed 15 of the best environments that would trigger a designer’s inspiration and imagination.

1. Riga Art Nouveau Museum

Riga Art Nouveau Museum

This museum embodies a popular style around the 20th century (estimated 1890 -1905) but it eventually went out of style when the contemporary approach began to grow. In this museum, you can find dynamic, flowing lines, undulating, and violent designs to stir your creativity.

2. Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York

Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York

Celebrates materials and processes that are embraced by practitioners in the fields of craft, art and design, as well as architecture, fashion, interior design, technology, performing arts and design-driven industries. In its exhibitions and educational programs, the Museum celebrates the creative process through which materials are crafted into works that enhance contemporary life. This is the perfect place for designers who need an inspiration boost.

3. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

This exhibition includes ten figures—a representative sample of the actual army, which is estimated to include more than 7,000 life-sized figures and over 10,000 weapons. The mix of art and history in this one museum makes it historically that much more appealing to visit and gain inspiration from.

4. Design Museum, London

Design Museum, London

Located in Tower Bridge, London, this place is one of the most visited places for great art and design inspiration. This is a place where all kinds of designs interact – from the product, industrial, graphic, fashion, and architectural design, you name it, Design Museum has it. The museum features different artworks every month. You can check for tickets and details online.

5. Louvre Museum, Paris

Louvre Museum, Paris

They say when you want to find the art in its classic and purest forms, visit Louvre Museum. Housing numerous arts from across Europe and the world, this place is one of the best environments to find inspiration. If you cannot personally go to Louvre, you can try visiting their 360-degree tour where you can tour the museum on their website.

6. London Transport Museum, London

London Transport Museum, London

Another attraction in London and a great place to find inspiration is the London Transport Museum where you can find the historic designs of transportation in the city. There is over historic transportation that is said to be 200 years old. They are in the house for collection and historical purposes. In this place, you will be brought back in time and see the development of transportation through time.

7. Cooper-Hewitt, New York

Cooper-Hewitt, New York

As the National Design Museum, Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the United States that is dedicated to historical and contemporary design. Not only that, Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions have been touring the country. It also explores contemporary design genres incorporating magazine design, posters, branding, type design and so much more.

8. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York
The Museum Of Modern Art also known as MOMA

A prominent collection that encompasses art, design, architecture, sculpture, photography, illustration, and more. Exhibitions at the design museum have covered topics such as 50 years of Helvetica, contemporary Dutch design and the Bauhaus movement. If you’re looking for a well-curated design show to inspire you, MoMA is the place to be.

9. Design Exchange, Toronto

Design Exchange, Toronto

Canada’s most important design museum. Some of their permanent designs include industrial design such as furniture, textiles and electronics. Besides that, this museum hosts a multitude of rich events pertaining to design such as a graphic design show and a design talk by the creative director of Toronto-based Blok Design, Vanessa Eckstein.

10. Gallery of Australian Design, Canberra

Gallery of Australian Design, Canberra

Hosts design events of national significance. The great thing about GAD is that they are running an initiative called Remedy to showcase promising graduates in architecture, graphic design, industrial design and more. Another initiative they run is Young.Hot.Canberra, which elevates the city’s homegrown talent.

11. Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo

Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo

If you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful place to calm your mind and find inspiration, this is the place for you. Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo’s collections center on the work of Brazilian artists from the mid 20th century onwards. Not only that, but it also has a well-stocked design library for visitors to enjoy.

12. The V&A, London

The V&A, London

The world’s leading museum of art and design. Its exhibit spans over 5,000 years of art with contemporary exhibitions including illustration, sculpture, photography and more. Some of its most recent design shows are David Bowie’s dedication and 1980’s London Fashion.

13. Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

Housed in a strikingly modern Frank Gehry-designed building that opened just days before the Berlin Wall fell, in Weil am Rhein, a German town on the border between France, Germany and Switzerland. The museum focuses on product design, but also includes temporary exhibitions from architecture and sculpture to topics such as pop art, contemporary Dutch design and the art of reduction.

14. Design Museum, Helsinki

Design Museum, Helsinki

One of the oldest of its kind museum in the world. It has a vast collection of industrial design, fashion and graphic design. Its exhibit includes 75,000 objects, 40,000 drawings and 100,000 images. An interesting fact about this museum is that it conducts research into Finnish design.

15. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Founded in 1874, it now has a striking new modern wing opened in September 2012. According to creative director Liza Enebeis, placing design in a museum context and then next to a contemporary art collection makes you look at a design from a different perspective. I’m sure that designers looking for inspiration would love to get a different perspective on things to boost their creativity factor.


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