Learning London Festival of Architecture British Sign Language Tour

BSL Tour: The Architecture of the Design Museum

Celebrate London Festival of Architecture 2024 and discover the fascinating story of the museum building in this group tour for D/deaf visitors and their companions, who use British Sign Language, led by guide Edward Richards.

What to expect

The architectural firm RMJM was commissioned to design a building to house the Commonwealth Institute, which opened on this site in 1962. The activities of the Commonwealth Institute ceased in 2003 and the unique landmark Grade II* listed building stood vacant for over a decade, before being transformed by John Pawson’s design team, who made the building fit for a 21st century museum.

From the magnificent hyperbolic parabola rooftop to unique spatial qualities and lesser-known features and attributes, the tour fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of significant stakeholders and this very special structure.

This tour forms part of the London Festival of Architecture, a month long celebration of architecture and city-making, taking place every June across London.


Edward Richards

Richards studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Arts and since 2002 has enjoyed delivering British Sign Language tours in Museums and Galleries to the Deaf community. He has also given socio-documentary photography talks on artists including Robert Frank and Elton John’s ‘The Radical Eye’ exhibition at Tate Modern.

Book online

Booking information

• Pre-booking required

• We are able to accommodate hearing visitors who are learning British Sign Language

• Please ensure you only book if you plan to attend and please cancel your booking in advance if your availability changes

• Suitable Age: 12 +
Children under 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult

• Assistance dogs are welcome

Pay-What-You-Can supports visitors who might find the standard ticket price a barrier.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Visit our Terms & Conditions page for further information.

In Partnership with LFA

The London Festival of Architecture, 1 – 30 June, is a month long celebration of architecture and city-making, taking place across London. The Festival’s mission is to open up discussions around architecture, test new ideas and uncover and promote new talent.