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Exhibitions and Displays

useful + beautiful: contemporary design for the home

Tuesday 29 April - Monday 25 August 2014. Admission £5/£3 concessions.

Installation shot of useful + beautiful April 2014 - photography Mandy Williams

Installation of useful + beautiful / photography M Williams

This special exhibition showcases a selection of cutting edge design for the home by both well-established industry figures and emerging talent. A broad range of domestic products, from furniture to wallpaper and textiles, lighting to technology, is on show, spilling out into the museum’s gardens with a display of innovative garden furniture design. As well as highlighting local design from Hackney and London, the show looks further afield and includes work by leading national and international designers.

The Geffrye Museum has a strong track record in spotting and showcasing the most exciting makers and domestic style trends today. The exhibition coincides with the museum’s centenary year and celebrates one of its original purposes - to inspire the local furniture-making industry. 

A programme of events highlighting contemporary domestic design is running throughout the show, including talks by the curator and featured designers, a debate on the future of design, workshops and activities for children.

Read the exhibition press release here.

Designers in useful + beautiful

Tomás Alonso  Anton Alvarez  Michael Anastassiades 
Assa Ashuach Studio  Jorre van Ast  Tomoko Azumi 
Barber Osgerby  Tord Boontje  Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec 
Fabien Cappello  Ed Carpenter and Thorsten Van Elten  Samuel Chan 
Kyuhyung Cho  Doshi Levien  Leala Dymond 
Matthew Elton  Robert van Embricqs  Form Us With Love 
Piet Hein Eek  Hulger  Hunting & Narud 
Industrial Facility  JiB Studio  Tracy Kendall 
Seongyong Lee  Michael Marriott  Jasper Morrison 
Gareth Neal  OpenDesk  Poetic Lab 
Raw Edges  Freyja Sewell  Silo Studio 
SmithMatthias  David Steiner Studio Drift 
Tracey Tubb  Utopia & Utility  William Warren 
Donna Wilson  Bethan Laura Wood  YOY 


Exhibition sponsored by

Ambrose wordmark with line First base logo


Geffrye 100: a brief history of the museum

Tuesday 1 July - Sunday 11 January 2015. Free.

Archive photograph from 1961 showing girls sketching in a period room

Archive photograph of two girls sketching in a period room, April 1961 (c) Crown Copyright

This small display charts the changing nature of the almshouses and the museum, highlighting some of the untold stories, unknown people and unseen objects in the Geffrye's history.


Giant Tea Bowls

Throughout the summer in the Geffrye Museum gardens. Free.

Tea bowls in the Geffrye gardens

An installation of large scale tea bowls planted with tea-themed plants celebrates the history of tea in English homes, and is on display in the Geffrye Museum’s gardens until the end of the summer.

Families at Morningside Children’s Centre in Hackney worked with artists and staff at the Geffrye over a period of four weeks to redecorate a giant sculpture of a tea set. The tea set that inspired this work is displayed in the museum’s 1745 parlour and was recovered from the Ca Mau shipwreck. 

Chelsea Fringe logo 2014

Corporate keyhole logo for Geffrye Museum