Public Talk

Design: between culture and commerce

14:40 — 16:10
Russian Museum of Ethnography, Marble Hall 4/1 Inzhenernaya st., St. Petersburg

The Design Museum is 30 years old this year. Founded in 1989 by entrepreneur, designer and restaurateur, Sir Terence Conran, from its inception the museum has walked the fine line between culture and commerce. Taking the story of the Design Museum as a framework, and drawing lessons from the recent evolution of the retail and museum sector, this talk will consider how the digital revolution currently underway is challenging both sectors and bringing them closer together. 

Every day, high street chains announce the closure of stores, and others going into administration bear witness to the dramatic changes in how we shop and consume our leisure. Museums are facing an equally challenging future, are they still a relevant leisure format in the 21st Century? With increased pressure on the public purse, can they sustain their big buildings and collections for the long term? By understanding the parallels in the evolution of both sectors, this presentation will put forward ideas about how the worlds of culture and commerce might find new ways to sustain brighter futures.