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Who better to help architects redesign the V&A’s Museum of Childhood than children themselves?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:16 13 June 2019

Young 'experts' drafted in to help architects with Museum of Childhood's transformation. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty

Young 'experts' drafted in to help architects with Museum of Childhood's transformation. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty

Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

An entire gallery at Bethnal Green’s Museum of Childhood has been turned into a working design studio ready for the biggest redevelopment in the building’s 147-year history.

Working out best way to display objects from V&A's collection at the 'open studio' design lab. Picture: Jeff Spicer/GettyWorking out best way to display objects from V&A's collection at the 'open studio' design lab. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty

Youngsters and other visitors are being invited to give their opinions about the work so far in progress, test out ideas and talk directly with the designers from AOC architecture practice.

The 'open studio' event at the iconic Victorian centre in Cambridge Heath Road includes a 'test lab' to experiment with new ways of displaying items to interact with the V&A's collection.

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"We hope to create a space that sparks excitement, curiosity and a sense of ownership," the museum's creative director Gina Koutsika said. "It's our mission to create a powerhouse of design and creativity with our mandate set by schoolchildren to become the world's 'most joyful' museum and an essential civic space for the community."

Youngsters add their views on the V&A Museum of Childhood's future. Picture: Jeff Spicer/GettyYoungsters add their views on the V&A Museum of Childhood's future. Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty

The project is now in its second year with plans so far that include a 'kaleidoscope' staircase in the main hall inspired by optical toys, a re-landscaped front entrance for better access for school groups and mums with buggies and new learning studios.

Architect Geoff Shearcroft said: "Our proposals work collaboratively with children, experts and staff to develop and test designs on a one-to-one scale to create a museum that's genuinely inclusive and democratic."

More details of Museum of Childhood workshops are available on line.


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