Skip to main content

Our vision, manifesto and values

What does home mean to you?

Our vision

We want to inspire everyone to explore the meaning of home.

Our manifesto

Everyone has an idea of what home means to them

Home is universally relevant but also deeply personal. Our role is to engage people with the multiple meanings of home – past, present and future. We believe that our histories are critical to understanding how we live today and imagining the home of tomorrow.

Personal stories are our lifeblood

Without personal stories we cannot exist. We want to know how people live. The best way to do this is to ask them: to document their homes, invite them to participate in the creation of our galleries and programmes, discover their stories in what they have left behind.

Design is important, but it has to be lived

We want to know how that armchair makes you feel, not just how it was made. Informing all our work is the question: ‘What does this tell us about how people experience home?’

We are a home for creativity

We are an active space for conversation, music, performance, storytelling, learning, play and socialising. We are also a hub where people designing, crafting and artistically exploring the home can come together, be discovered, showcased and celebrated.

Everyone can learn something here

Learning is at the heart of our collections and programming and we are a leading centre for studies of home. Whether someone wants to ‘dip-in’ or ‘dive-in’, we offer levels of connection and empower all our audiences and collaborators to engage.

Our visitors feel at home

We offer a warm welcome to both our physical and digital spaces. We create experiences that are easy to navigate, and that enable our visitors to feel at ease and take control.

We lead the debate

We have a voice and use our expertise confidently. We inspire, provoke, encourage and challenge different meanings of home. We use our collections, both physically and digitally, to lead research and discussion on the most relevant and difficult issues of our time.

Our gardens and almshouse buildings are part of who we are

We are proud of our beautiful green spaces. They are an oasis for all to enjoy, and inspire understanding of the relationship between home and garden. Our iconic buildings have their own story to tell and provide a domestic context for our vision.

Our East London location inspires us

We have national and international reach but are rooted in East London. We connect to our local communities living and working nearby, and create vibrant and mutually rewarding networks.

Home is constantly evolving and so are we

We are not afraid to have fun with our collections, to question ourselves and occasionally break our own rules. We predict the trends that will interest our audiences and are forward-thinking in the way we work. We are collaborative agile, risk-taking, and creative.

Our values

  • Collaborative – we engage with many partners to make the museum a welcoming and dynamic space for everyone.
  • Agile – we are flexible in the way we work, quick to adapt to change.
  • Risk-taking – we are a supportive environment where it’s ok to try new things and fail.
  • Creative – we think around the challenges and encourage creativity in others.