Great exhibitions in South Kensington

Great exhibitions in South Kensington, London. Experience the design and culture of video games, see extraordinary art, marvel at stunning wildlife photography, explore life in the dark, discover how homes are changing and so much more.

Mary Quant

6th April 2019 - 8th March 2020
V&A
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From miniskirts and hot pants to vibrant tights and makeup, discover how Mary Quant launched a fashion revolution on the British high street, with over 200 garments and accessories, including unseen pieces from the designer's personal archive.

Free

Driverless: Who is in control?

12th Jun 2019 - Oct 2020
10.00–18.00
Science Museum
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For decades, autonomous vehicles have been heralded as a new technology that could change the way we live our lives. Driverless: Who is in control? opening on 12 June 2019 at the Science Museum will explore how close we are to living in a world driven by thinking machines.

Free

Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security

On until 23rd Feb
Science Museum
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Discover the remarkable world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications in our upcoming must-see, free exhibition. Explore over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts.

Tim Walker: Wonderful Things

On until 22nd Mar
V&A
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Take a backstage look at the creative process of one of the world's most inventive photographers through his photographs, films, photographic sets, and special installations – including a new series of photographs influenced by the V&A's collections.

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World

On until 19th April
V&A
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As we approach another major turning point in automotive design, this exhibition looks at the role of the car in shaping the world we live in today.

Moving to Mars

18th Oct 2018 - 23rd Feb 2020
Design Museum Kensington
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Step into a full-scale Mars home, immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the landscape and learn how rethinking daily life for a zero-waste, clean energy-powered civilisation might help future generations on Earth. Featuring immersive environments & original objects from NASA, ESA & SpaceX.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

18th Oct 2019 - 31st May 2020
Natural History Museum
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The fifty-fifth Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will immerse you in the breathtaking diversity of the natural world. Encounter the beauty and fragility of wildlife, see fascinating animal behaviour and get to know extraordinary species, exhibited on 100 stunning lightbox displays.

Free

Talking about Japanese Food

1 Nov-31 March
10m-8pm
Japan House London
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What do we talk about when we talk about Japanese food? This display traces the history and origins of food from Japan and attempts to tease apart some elements of the culinary culture embedded in the daily lives of the Japanese people.

Free

WOW: City Lights and Woodland Shade

21 Nov-22 Mar
10am-8pm
Japan House London
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Explore the contrasting worlds of Japan’s urban future and rural traditions in WOW’s new digital art installation, a multidisciplinary new media visual design studio from Tokyo and Sendai in Japan creating experiences through art, product design, branding and prototyping.

Free

PriestmanGoode presents Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink

12 September-January 2020
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Whether we travel for work or pleasure, air travel has become an integral part of our lives. However, our consumption habits mean that we are leaving behind great trails of waste every time we fly.

Beazley Designs of the Year

On until 9th Feb 2020
10am - 6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Discover the most innovative designs across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design from the past 12 months, as nominated by the public and design experts from around the world.

Free

Saturday Talks: Claude Adjil on Patrick Staff

8 Feb
3pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Curator Claude Adjil leads a tour of the Patrick Staff exhibition. BSL interpretation is available on request for all our Saturday Talks.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

29th Feb - 21st June 2020
V&A
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This exhibition will present the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.

Electronic

1st April - 26th July
Design Museum Kensington
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Music is only part of the story. Evoking the experience of being in a club, the exhibition will transport you through the people, art, design, technology and photography that have been capturing and shaping the electronic music landscape.

Bags!

25th April 2020 - 3rd Jan 2021
V&A
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From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags! will explore the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.

Renaissance Watercolours: from Dürer to Van Dyck

16th May - 20th Sept 2020
V&A
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Bringing together 200 rarely-seen masterpieces, this exhibition will present the exquisite medium as a unified art form for the first time, exploring its pivotal role in understanding, interpreting and documenting the natural world.

Alice in Wonderland

27th June - 10th Jan 2021
V&A
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Exploring its origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive, theatrical show will expand ACMI's award-winning exhibition, and chart the evolution of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to global phenomenon.

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

6th May - 6th Sept
Design Museum Kensington
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Cult classics, limited edition silhouettes and rare colourways are put under the spotlight. Go behind the scenes and explore the design processes for the most innovative kicks from self-lacing to 3D printed, 100% recyclable or cushioned with air bubbles.

Epic Iran

17th Oct 2020 - 4th April 2021
V&A
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Exploring 5,000 years of art, design and culture, Epic Iran will shine a light on one of the greatest historic civilisations, its journey into the 21st century and its monumental artistic achievements, which remain unknown to many.

Free

Designer Maker User

Open daily
10am - 6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Designer Maker User, the Design Museum's only permanent exhibition, features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.

Victoria: A Royal Childhood

Kensington Palace
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Discover the story of Princess Victoria, the young girl destined to be queen, in the rooms where she was born and raised at Kensington Palace. This new permanent exhibition will explore how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.

Engineer your future

Science Museum
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Find out if you’ve got the problem-solving, big-thinking, team-working skills to be a globe-trotting engineer of tomorrow.

Free

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Science Museum
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Mathematics is too often perceived as dry and complex, but this new gallery will tell stories that place the subject at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world.

Human Evolution

Daily
Natural History Museum
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Meet your ancient relatives, trace the origins and evolution of our species, and explore what makes us human.

Europe 1600-1815

Daily
V&A
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Showcasing over 1100 objects from the V&A’s collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design in a suite of seven galleries.

Lee Ufan: Relatum - Stage

From Feb 2018
Serpentine Galleries
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Artist Lee Ufan brings new public sculpture to Kensington Gardens. Comprised of two, angled, mirrored, steel sheets and two different-sized stones, Relatum – Stage will merge the natural and industrial in an installation that reflects the surrounding environment of the Park.

Free

The Last Straw

From 2nd Oct
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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IKEA and the Design Museum present the Last Straw, an installation featuring the last ever single-use plastic straw IKEA will serve or sell in any store in the UK and Ireland.

Free

Violet Data Dawn

Daily Closed Mondays
10am-6pm
Serpentine Galleries
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Utilising various media, including video, the internet, interactive technologies, photography, drawing, painting and watercolour, Suzanne Treister explores emerging technologies, alternative belief systems and potential human futures through a newly commissioned book and web-based augmented reality work.

Accelerating The Modern World

23 Nov
10am-5:45pm
V&A
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Find out how the car has developed the world around us. Learn about innovations transforming the future of driving, tapping onto both art and technology.

Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery

Opens 12th Sept
Science Museum
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Discover how London grew from a lively capital city to a global hub for trade, commerce, and scientific enquiry between 1550 - 1800. This new free gallery spanning over 650 m² takes visitors on a journey through the metropolis during a time of momentous change.

Free
Family

Mission to Mercury: Bepi Colombo

Daily
10.00–18.00
Science Museum
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Come face-to-face with a full-size engineering model of BepiColombo, the European Space Agency’s first ever spacecraft to explore Mercury. Standing over six metres tall, this Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the spacecraft was used to test BepiColombo’s resilience during its seven-year journey to Mercury.

Designing Duggee

15 - 23rd February 2020
All day
Design Museum Kensington
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Dive into the design process behind this colourful CBeebies animated series through a friendly and accessible display.

Prada. Front and Back

September 2020
Design Museum Kensington
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The exhibition will offer unprecedented insight into Prada’s creative approach, inspirations and landmark collaborations.

Humanities@70 Exhibition

2-6th March
9am - 9pm
Imperial College London
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2020 marks the 70th anniversary of humanities at Imperial College London, Imperial are celebrating this milestone with a year-long programme of events by exploring the rich and diverse history of humanities at the College, showcasing the wide variety of activities taking place today, as well as looking ahead at what the future might hold.