Making an impact in Derby

Nick Myall
Thursday 20 Apr 2017

Plan for Derby's Museum of Making in the UK takes next step

On Thursday 20th April 3-8pm and Friday 21st April 10am-4pm Derby Museums in the UK are giving the public a chance to see the first design ideas for the brand new Derby Silk Mill - Museum of Making.

The £16.4m transformation project, which has been made possible thanks to successful bids to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England, will see the existing building restored, opening up parts of the building that have never been seen by the public before; as well as expanding its displayed collection, while still creating space for future generations of innovators, makers and creators to learn more and build their skills.

Just before the last usual public opening day on April 29th 2017, the project will take its next step, as Derby Museums shares the current designs for the Derby Silk Mill - Museum of Making.

Silk Mill Project Director, Hannah Fox, is excited to get local people's feedback on the initial plans: "A huge amount of work has already gone into getting us to this stage, much of it directly supported by local people, our volunteers, stakeholders and visitors to The Silk Mill. 

"At the backbone of this project, is our desire for it to be a collaborative process, involving as many volunteers as possible. It feels right at this stage to start sharing our design concepts with the city. Although the designs aren't ready to go into planning as yet, we wanted to share the initial ideas at this stage, giving the people of Derby the chance to see the vision for the Museum of Making.

"This will be a huge change for the museum, the building itself and for Derby's tourism scene. We are introducing a whole new visitor experience to celebrate the makers of the past, present and future. We're so grateful to our funders and supporters for enabling us to get to this stage, and can't wait to see the project progress."

Thousands of volunteer hours have already been given to The Silk Mill Project, from workshops and public consultation events, to those regularly volunteering to support the collections team in making sure the vast array of artefacts are effectively logged, packed and transported to a temporary storage facility, ready for work to begin on the building itself.

Architects, Bauman Lyons, and exhibition designers, Leach, have been working with the Derby Museums' team for the past year, developing the designs available to view today. The teams have held a wide range of workshops with local people of all ages, visitors to the Silk Mill and stakeholders from across the city, to help build a picture of how the Museum of Making should look.

Jim Parkin of Leach, said: "It has been an incredibly positive experience, working alongside the architects and the team at Derby Museums on this pioneering project. Through our work with volunteers we have found out so much about the building and its collections, as well learning a great deal on what matters to the local people visiting and using the museum.

"Our workshops have been very much driven by visitors and volunteers, we want them to lead us to make sure we gather their genuine thoughts and ideas. It's so important for us to understand the people who will enjoy the Museum of Making, and not to just make assumptions based on our own design experience."

The Museum of Making will focus on three key themes: Inspired by the Makers of the Past, Made by the Makers of Today and Empowering the Makers of the Future.

Irena Bauman of Bauman Lyons, said: "We already had a beautiful old building to work with here at the Silk Mill, and it's important that the designs we develop reflect and celebrate the building's history, while  future proofing it and creating an inspirational space for future innovators, makers and creators.

"We're really pleased with the plans to date and I look forward to hearing the feedback from those visiting the Silk Mill. This is an inspirational project and we're very keen to make sure our final designs bring a whole new look and feel to this fantastic museum, while being sympathetic to the building's historical roots."

On both Thursday 27th April and Saturday 29th April, visitors to The Silk Mill will also be able see the plans for the Museum of Making. Alongside this, visitors are invited to come and take part in the ‘Your Place in the World' project that has been developing at the Museum and Art Gallery. The projects aim is to connect, explore and share the process as a new community focused gallery at the Museum and Art Gallery.

The second Silk Mill Conversations event will also take place on Thursday 27th April - an event that invites speakers to discuss the stewardship of people, place and planet. To find out more and to book a place, go to http://bit.ly/2oJeciU

The WAN Awards Future Projects category is now open until 30th June.

Click here for more details or email wanawards@haymarket.com


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