The Design Museum has acquired the rainbow flag, David Bowie's Blackstar album, a coffee cup for astronauts and Oculus Rift's virtual reality headset for its permanent collection.
The rainbow flag, originally created by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, is the Design Museum's first acquisition since moving to its new home in Kensington High Street. Identified as one of the defining designs of the modern age, the flag was part of an original series of ten that Baker designed and created in 1978. Also known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag, the design reflects the diversity of the LGBT community. Originating in northern California, the flag has been adopted worldwide and is now a globally recognised symbol.
One of 2016 defining designs, the Blackstar album design by Jonathan Barnbrook has also been acquired. Released on January 8, 2016 to coincide with Bowie's 69th birthday, two days before his passing, the album was met with critical acclaim.
The Unicode Blackstar symbol created a simplistic identity that let the music take centre stage. Designed using open source elements, the artwork for the album became open-sourced itself following Bowie's death enabling fans to engage and interact with the symbols.
Also acquired is the Space Cup, a coffee cup used by astronauts in zero gravity. Designed and developed using scientific results of experiments conducted aboard the International Space Station, the design allows astronauts to drink coffee from an open cup whilst in outer space. The Space cup was designed to exploit passive capillary forces to replace the role of gravity to create an earth-like drinking experience in space.
To keep up with the latest technological advancements, the museum has acquired the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Developed and manufactured by Oculus VR, the headsets allow the user to enter an entirely immersive computer-generated environment.