Derby Silk Mill Museum of Making

We were selected through a competitive process to assist the client in developing a new vision for the Silk Mill, Derby. We have worked with the client since 2011 through three successive appointments and have become partners shaping and supporting the strategic and curatorial direction of the museum.

The Museum Trust are embarking on a major transformation. Derby’s Silk Mill is the site of the world’s first factory and is currently undergoing a £16.4m programme to create an inspirational and active Museum of Making – locally designed and delivered; globally significant. The Museum of Making is co-produced with communities, inspiring future generations of makers, creators and innovators.


  • Through a series of experimental phases, we worked hand-in-hand with audiences, volunteers and partners to prototype the concept for the Museum of Making. Using a small amount of capital funding, the ground floor of the building was refurbished in 2015 to reveal the original fabric of the building and create a large, light and open space. The ‘fit-out’ and use of this space, inspired by the ‘maker movement’, has provided opportunities for volunteers and partners to be involved as citizen makers and curators, working with Makers-in-Residence (offering industry expertise and experience), client and design and co-production teams.
  • Collectively we will have designed and built the building, furniture, fixtures and fittings; programmed events and activities; and created the first ‘DIY’ museum with community participation at its heart. The approach to the development of the Silk Mill has received national and international attention and secured Stage 1 funding from HLF and ACE.
  • We reviewed all procurement options and are championing the Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) method which requires all key stakeholders to form one single virtual company to allow us to share risks and work in a blame free environment.


Derby Museums




£17 million


Grade II listed