Museums are the new cathedrals of the XXI Century, not just cultural venues but also tourist attractions, public squares and symbols of power and wealth for western cities. They provide the visitors with the possibility of being part of an experience that goes beyond the works exhibited. The Victoria & Albert Museum was a pioneer when it established the design object as a museological discipline in 1852. From the 20th century more and more modern and contemporary art museums started collecting design or, a term more often used by museums, applied arts. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has been collecting design since 1934. The decorative arts, graphic and industrial design collection now holds around 70.000 objects (more than three-quarters of the complete Stedelijk collection).

The Dharavi Design Museum aims to explore the possibilities of developing the first ever design museum inside the informal urban settlement of Dharavi in Mumbai, commonly known as one of the biggest ‘slums’ in Asia. By creating a Design Museum -a place for contemplation- we make this city within a city more liveable. Our main intentions are to acknowledge the citizenship of these people, to recognize their equal rights compared to the rest of the city, and promoting a greater exchange between formal and informal economies. After a visit to Mumbai we came up with the idea of creating the first design museum in Dharavi and since then we’ve been planning and developing this idea that finally materialized into the Design Museum Dharavi.