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Sir John Soane’s Museum & Luke Irwin Announce Public Talk Series

October kicks off the new talk series By Design

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Sir John Soane’s Museum, in partnership with Luke Irwin, will embark on the talk series By Design from October 2018 – April 2019.

Will Gompertz, Arts Editor at the BBC, and Alice Rawsthorn, design writer and critic, will co-host the series exploring how design has impacted the lives of six internationally-renowned designers, framed around one item which has informed their careers. 

Sir John Soane’s Museum & Luke Irwin Announce Public Talk Series

Sepulchral Chamber

 The confirmed speakers include: 

• Iconic graphic designer Peter Saville, who created album covers for Joy Division 

• Set designer Es Devlin, who has worked with artists such as Beyoncé and Kanye West 

• Product designer Martino Gamper, renowned for his project 100 Chairs in 100 Days 

• Famed ceramicist and writer Edmund de Waal 

• Leading international architect Sir David Adjaye 

• Hotelier and interior designer Olga Polizzi 

The series launches on 29, October with Will Gompertz in conversation with graphic designer Peter Saville. The talk will revolve around Richard Hamilton’s iconic poster ‘Toaster’ and will be accompanied by the original 1970 toaster itself. 

By Design continues the Soane’s exploration of contemporary architecture and design. By bringing together international designers, artists and architects, the Museum aims to realise Soane’s ambition for an ‘Academy of the Arts,’ where all forms of the discipline can be celebrated. 

 ‘Sir John Soane understood the power of objects to spark creativity. He assembled his remarkable collection to act, in his words, as ‘studies for my mind’, and also to offer inspiration to the countless visitors to his Museum over the last two centuries.’ – Owen Hopkins, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education

Model Room

‘Design can be found in everything we touch, see and hear; this fascinates me. ‘By Design’ creates a forum within which innovative and well-respected designers from diverse disciplines can explore an everyday object that has inspired them. I believe the world of design can sometimes be perceived as be rarified and it is exciting to be partnering with the Soane Museum to help create discussions that make great design accessible.’ -Luke Irwin

Tickets from £30, bookable at

The museum is open free: Wednesday to Sunday inclusive, 10am–5pm.

Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP 

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