Winners 2014/Exhibitions & Experiential Environments Bronze

Project: The Christian Louboutin Retrospective

Client: The Design Museum, London

Design: Household

The Design Museum wanted to celebrate Christian Louboutin’s 20-year career pushing the boundaries of shoe design with a retrospective exhibition – the first ever for the iconic shoe designer. The exhibition had to give visitors unique insight to the brand, uncovering the inspiration behind Louboutin’s creations. Crucially the exhibition needed to do what Louboutin does best – challenge expectations.

With a creative concept of ‘showtime’, Household and museum curator Donna Loveday, created an immersive space that moved away from traditional exhibition design. The visitor journey wasn’t prescriptive, but light and shade subtly drew people through the space. Using their retail experience, Household theatrically merchandised each shoe to reflect its inspiration.

When it opened, the exhibition quickly became a ‘must-see’. Breaking Design Museum records it attracted an average of 946 visitors per day (66,222 in total over 70 days), with 70% of museum footfall driven specifically by the exhibition, successfully broadening the audience demographic. It’s now embarked on a global tour.