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Discover South Kensington London’s home of science and arts
 
 

We're so thrilled to have visitors back enjoying the museums and cultural venues in South Kensington!  Londoners are enjoying rediscovering all the treasures here without the usual crowds. Whether you're exploring in real life or want to enjoy from the comfort of your home, there is tons to do including the newly opened Ciné Lumière and the Notting Hill Carnival online. 

We also have news of step-free access plans for South Kensington station - please do give your comments on this. 

 
   
 
 
 
 
The Institut français is Open!
 
Institut français
 
The Institut français has reopened with a wealth of things to do and see. Join their popular online bookclub, sign-up for that French class you've been meaning to take, or reserve your seat at the Ciné Lumière for a jampacked programme of fantastic films.
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Notting Hill Carnival online
 
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
29-31 August 2020
 
For the first time in its 54-year history, Notting Hill Carnival is moving entirely online over the August bank holiday weekend, 29-31 August 2020. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Carnival will not take its usual form this year, on the streets of Notting Hill, but there is an alternative...
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Step-free South Ken station - have your say
 

 
New development plans for South Kensington station include much needed step-free access to the street and museum subway. The deadline for comments on the planning application is 4 September. If you use the station and care about its future, please have your say on the planning application.
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The Royal Society of Sculptors' Summer Exhibition
 
The Royal Society of Sculptors
Until 18 Sept Mon-Fri 11am - 5pm
 
This year’s Summer Exhibition has been guest curated by Robert and Nicky Wilson, the founders of Jupiter Artland, and is a fabulous showcase of the work of their members and fellows. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to browse (and even buy) contemporary sculpture in a no-pressure environment.
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Imperial Lates
 
Imperial College London
28 Sept - 4 Oct 2020 6pm-11pm
 
Tune in to Imperial's digital Lates to hear personal stories from those working on the pandemic frontline and explore how cutting-edge research is improving our NHS. Put your questions to their COVID vaccine developers as we celebrate those who care for our nation with talks, a drawing workshop, the Pub-less Quiz, and more!
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Global STEM Festival
 
Ismaili Centre
29-30 August 2020
 
The Global STEM Festival is an opportunity for 3-17 year olds to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics activities at home and share your favourite project virtually with the global Jamat. View video submissions from around the world, meet experts from a range of STEM disciplines, and even try a couple of experiments at home!
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Goethe Medal 2020
 
Goethe-Institut
28 August 2020 10am
 
Once a year, the Goethe-Institut awards the Goethe Medal, an official decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. This year the event will be held online on 28 August at 11am with British author Ian McEwan, South African writer, publisher and curator Zukiswa Wanner and Bolivian multidisciplinary artist Elvira Espejo Ayca receiving their awards.
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NHM Lates Online
 
Natural History Museum
Friday 28 August 2020 7:30pm
 
Join the Natural History Museum's scientists to discover how they learn about the mysteries of the dinosaurs and ask your questions in the live panel discussion. Then gather your team and take part in the Jurassic Lark quiz. Or even take a virtual tour around the Museum.
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Ciné Lumière Reopens Today!
 
Institut français
 
Ciné Lumière re-opens with a spectacular choice of films to entice and relish. Opening with modern day fairytale The Lost Prince, the enjoyment continues with screen legends, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche in The Truth, and many more to keep you glued to your seat!
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Designers in Residence: Care
 
Design Museum Kensington
 
As we enter a new decade characterised by technological acceleration, 24/7 working, and climate uncertainty, there is a crucial role for design in supporting the ways we care for ourselves, each other and the planet, and to this end four emerging designers are exploring alternative avenues for communities to become more resilient.
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Image credit: Sakari Oramo © Benjamin Ealovega  
BBC Proms Live from the Royal Albert Hall
 
Royal Albert Hall
Friday 28 August 2020 7:30pm
 
We're so excited that the Proms return to the Royal Albert Hall this Friday. Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra kick off the Proms first live performance this season, with a specially commissioned work by English composer Hannah Kendall. Tune in from wherever you are.
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Black History Month 2020
 
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
Deadline Friday 10 September 2020 12 noon
 
The deadline for RBKC's new Black History Month grants has been extended. Apply for funding through their grants scheme to host an event this year. Do so by 12pm Friday 11 September. You could get up to £500 to fund your idea!
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When Art meets Science
 
Imperial College London
Thursday 10 September 12:30-1:30pm
 
Join Professor Pier Luigi Dragotti to hear about his AI augmented chemical analysis of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, and the algorithms that revealed Leonardo’s hidden drawings and abandoned composition.
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Image credit: Anno Art Museum  
Anno's Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa
 
Japan House London
 
Japan House launches their first virtual exhibition, 'Anno’s Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa', showcasing the lifeworks of the beloved story teller and illustrator. A captivating and sensory experience.
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Sign-Up Today For a Taster Lesson on German
 
Goethe-Institut
Thursday 10 Sept 2020 6:30pm
 
The Goethe-Institut is open and ready to teach you German! From beginners to advance, online or in person (under enhanced safety conditions), there's something for everyone. Sign-up for a Free Online Taster Lesson with one of their German teachers today at 6:30pm!
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Image credit: Haidée Drew Artist, Curator and Educator  
Friday Night Sketch | Home & Identity
 
Design Museum Kensington
28 August and 4 September 2020 6pm-8pm
 
Reimagine Kensington High Street in this fun, free drop-in drawing workshop every Friday evening this summer in front of the Design Museum and take home a free sketch pack. All drawing abilities are welcome! Grab a free tote bag with pens, washi tape and everything you need to join the activity by designer Haidée Drew.
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Image credit: RCA Beth Hadfield - Simulated Vessel film  
ARTxSCIENCE
 
Royal College of Art
 
Technology is revolutionising modern medicine and has the potential to impact all of our lives. But how much do we understand the developments shaping the future of healthcare? ARTxSCIENCE brings together students from the Royal College of Art and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Smart Medical Imaging to collaborate and create innovative digital exhibitions to open up the conversation around cutting-edge research. RCA student Beth Hadfield as part of her Simulated Vessel film in the 'Artificial Intelligence' exhibit.
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The Design Film Festival
 
Design Museum Kensington
11 September - 1 November 2020
 
An online festival showcasing films by designers, and films on design by filmmakers and artists. Students from three graduate programmes investigate the relationship between design and film – film as a medium of worldmaking, film as a response to and reflection of current environments and conditions, film as a material for research and development and film as a conceptual and practical tool for designing.
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Geographical Journeys Microlectures
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Deadline 23 October 2020
 
Applications have opened for the RGS' annual 'Geographical Journeys: Microlectures' event . Share your experiences, be inspired by others and help us to understand our rapidly changing world..
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My Earth Photo competition
 
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Sunday 30 August 2020
 
Are you 15-18 years old and passionate about photography and climate change? You've got one week left to enter the #MyEarthPhoto photography competition run by Forestry England!
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Toby Ord on Existential Risk & The Future of Humanity
 
Serpentine Galleries
Live on Thursday 3 September 2020 1-2pm
 
In this fortnightly online session, moral philosopher Toby Ord will be in conversation with Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, to discuss the risks to humanity’s future. From the familiar, human-generated threats of climate change and nuclear war, to more unfamiliar threats such as engineered pandemics and advanced artificial intelligence.
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Cao Fei: Blueprints - Last Week to See!
 
Serpentine Galleries
Tuesday-Sunday Until 13 Sept 2020 10am - 6pm
 
Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional solo show at the Serpentine Galleries brings together new and existing works in an immersive installation using her artistic skills from filmmaking, digital media and photography with an array of objects, expanding the themes of automation, virtuality and technology.
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Diana: Designing for a Princess
 
Kensington Palace
Wednesday-Sunday 10:30am-5pm
 
In this elegant display at Diana, Princess of Wales' former home of Kensington Palace, a piece from Diana's wardrobe complements original sketches created for her during the design process. Diana's handwritten comments, added alongside her favourite designs, demonstrate the joy she found in fashion.
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Architecture for Dogs
 
Japan House London
19 September - 10 January 2021
 
Man's best friend has their very own exhibition premiering at Japan House London. Featuring a collection of architectural designs by world-class architects and designers, with the addition of a brand new piece by eminent UK architect, Asif Khan, guests can become designers and makers themselves, with blueprints available for download and opportunities to design their own architecture for dogs.
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What is Design Engagement?
 
Royal College of Art
Friday 18 September 1:30-3:40pm
 
A morning of talks exploring alternative ways of living through ‘Active Engagement’ by Art & Design practitioners by leading researchers and practitioners. The speakers will discuss aspects of their practice, share their insights, and offer their views and opinions to explore the theme of active engagement.
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Victoria: A Royal Childhood
 
Kensington Palace
Advance booking required 10:30am-5:pm; last admission 4pm
 
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. Explore how an indulged young princess blossomed into the independent and iconic monarch we remember.
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Driverless: Who is in control?
 
Science Museum
Til 5 January 2021 10.00–18.00
 
Technology developers are racing to create fully autonomous machines with the ability to make decisions on their own. How many of these smart machines already exist? And how much control are we willing to transfer to them?
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Making an Impression
 
V&A
9 Sept-13 Sept 10am-5:30pm
 
Featuring prints alongside blocks, plates and tools used to make them, this display explores the varied techniques and rich effects of relief printmaking. It spans a 600-year history of Western printmaking, showcasing the work of craftsmen, pioneers and entrepreneurs, with objects ranging from medieval playing cards to contemporary fine art.
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Queer Currents
 
Serpentine Galleries
 
What is queer ecology? How do queer theory and artistic practice inform environmental activism and climate justice? How can we think decolonisation and queerness together? Victoria Sin welcomes guest host Kostas Stasinopoulos to dive into transformation, queerness, the natural and unnatural, wild, decolonial and submerged perspectives
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Family Favourites
 
Natural History Museum
Wed-Sun & Mon 31 August 11am-5:30pm (last entry 5pm)
 
Get up close with nature, discover fascinating creatures and intriguing science with these top tips for family visits and a self-guided tour. Can't make it to the Museum? There are still plenty of ways to get involved online with live talks, dinosaur crafts and ways to explore nature in your local area
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Heartbeat Heroes
 
Science Museum
Dates vary 11:15-11:45am
 
Listen up and hear the beat! Time to take a closer look at this hidden hardworking hero… your heart. Get your blood pumping in this fun, family-friendly workshop where you can make your very own working stethoscope and put it to the test.
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Asante Goldweights
 
V&A
Until 31 October 2021 10am-5pm
 
Asante gold court regalia is richly symbolic of an economy centred on the gold trade. Small brass goldweights were shaped to express proverbs encouraging honesty, integrity and the need to leave a legacy of good deeds. This display highlights contested heritage: some items were taken by British troops when they raided the Asante capital, Kumasi, in 1874 in conflicts over gold-trading ports.
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The Weird World of Dinosaur Hands
 
Natural History Museum
Tuesday 1 September 12:00-12:45pm
 
T. rex hands were famously small, but T. rex isn't the only dinosaur that had strange hands. Join researcher João Leite as he explores the evolution of dinosaur hands and discover some truly weird and wonderful specimens.
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  Discover more  
 
 
Image credit: Ben Barnes Industrial Fellow 2018  
Developing techniques to speed regenerative treatment
 
Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851
 
Awarded Industrial Fellow 2018, Ben Barnes is developing a method to purify exosomes that is both scalable and economically viable, so that they can be used therapeutically. Purification of these biomolecules is essential for the development of regenerative treatment, which could potentially be used to tackle cancer and act as delivery vehicles for therapeutic molecules.
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  And from our friends  
 
 
 
Westminster Libraries Book of the Week: A Streetcat Named Bob
 
Westminster Libraries
 
James Bowen's A Streetcat Named Bob is Westminster Libraries' Book of the Week. Since the publication of his popular book, Bowen now dedicates his time to working with homelessness, literacy, and animal welfare charities. Visit one of their libraries today and give it a read!
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RBKC's Book of the Week: Six Dinner Sid
 
RBKC libraries
 
Sid the cat lives at number one Aristotle Street. He also lives at number two, number three, number four, number five, and number six. Since the neighbors on Aristotle street don’t talk to each other, no one realizes that Sid gets six dinners each night. But when Sid gets a cold, being six people’s pet might be more than he bargained for.
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Learn to Play the Tin Whistle!
 
The Chelsea Theatre
Until 3 September 2020 10:30am via Zoom
 
Learn to play the tin whistle with The Chelsea Theatre. And if you live on the World's End estate, you can grab a free whistle for the session too! No experience required.
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Ecology Quiz for Children
 
The Chelsea Theatre
Thurs 27 August 3:30pm-4:30pm
 
Join Trevor from Holland Park Ecology Centre for a fun quiz about birds you might see in your local park and garden. Learn how to make a bird feeder using suet and bird seed. Ideal for children aged 7 years and under.
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Discover South Kensington is an initiative of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, a partnership of the cultural and educational organisations in and around Exhibition Road, South Kensington.

Our partners include:
 
The Design Museum
Goethe-Institut
Imperial College London
Institut franҫais
The Ismaili Centre
Kensington Palace
Natural History Museum
Royal Albert Hall
South Kensington Estates
Royal College of Art
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Royal College of Music
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
The Royal Parks
Serpentine Galleries
The Science Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Royal Society of Sculptors
Japan House
 
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