Sure it means the museum will be closed to the public from May for two whole years but it also promises to return full of interactive and creative fun.
Less about our forefather’s nostalgia and more about actual childhood fun. It will be light and airy rather than dark and a little cobwebby and it will allow children to play and touch and be more involved (rather than look from behind a windowpane at toys they want to handle). The modernisation promises to have objects displayed at toddler’s height (hooray for parent’s backs) and lots of interactive aspects like dressing-up objects, making corners, nooks for playing and more.
Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A says that the museum is very much ‘beloved by the local community but in need of modernisation’ and we couldn’t agree more. We have spent many hours and days in the museum but always feel a little like we have stepped back into a time warp, which is not surprising given that since 1974 when the museum was re-named the V&A Museum of Childhood – there has been very little in terms of innovation.
Mr Hunt said: “We want to empower children to realise that every act of creativity is wondrous, whether it’s self-expression through their clothes, building a world on Minecraft, or launching a school climate strike.” His hope is that a variety of inspiring games and activities such as the original Superman Costume and Frankenstein’s monster, will spark imaginations and creative ideas through play.
Works by leading creatives such as Issey Miyake and Yves Behar will explore how objects are made next to ‘open studio’ areas, introducing young innovators of the future to inspirational design.
A 125-person-capacity performance space The Stage will form the new centrepiece for the museum’s popular daily programme of family activities. It will also present a platform for children to perform their own shows.
The new museum will be shaped in entirety around the way in which children aged 0-14 explore, play and learn.