Mikhail Kalashnikov's AK-47 is one of the London Design Museum's 14 new acquisitions currently on view in This is Design, an exhibition of the world's most influential objects. Introduced to the Soviet army at the end of World War II, the AK-47 revolutionised the assault rifle and today continues to be one of the most widely used (and deadliest) weapons around due to its simple, rugged design (it only has 8 moving parts) and cheap production costs.
In a 2003 interview with the Guardian, Kalashnikov acknowledged his deadly legacy to the world. “I made it to protect the motherland,” he said. “And then they spread the weapon [around the word] – not because I wanted them to.” Now the question is should one of the world's deadliest killing machines be celebrated in a design museum?