After the Thanksgiving break here in the United States, the studio is back at work, and one of the first things people were talking about was some of the inspiring as well as intriguing museum designs and museum commentary that people came across Here are two examples of what we’ve been talking about:
Opening in Romania is the Salina Turda, where in the town of Truda, the salt mine found there has been turned into the world’s largest salt mining history museum. Take a look at the amazing location and the journey offered for visitors:
As you will find, this is not only a museum but also has attraction elements both inside and out. In addition, the design of the space at the bottom of the mine is not conservative but rather takes a unique perspective that matches the space itself. It a great example of how exhibition design and space can, together, create a magical location – something to be considered for all projects that link exhibition design and architectural design.
The atmosphere of the space and the “environment” of the design can heighten or change visitors’ emotional state even before they get to the “content” or the mission of the exhibition.
In this case, it would seem impossible not to be affected before getting to the bottom.
Meanwhile, we thought these “future visions” were very irreverent – and were possibly making a commentary about “starchitects.” Enjoy!
Denver Art Museum by Daniel Libeskind – as a a Walmart
MUCEM by Rudy Ricciotti – as a motel
Glasgow Riverside Museum of Transport by Zaha Hadid – abandoned, with nature taking over
What interesting museums have you seen lately? What new or provocative museum ideas are you thinking about? Let us know!
Earlier this year, we highlighted a project by Tomás Saraceno’s called On Space Time Foam. There we were excited about how this experience allows for perhaps the closest opportunity for visitors to feel what it might be like to be inside a piece of foam. In addition, we mentioned how, very often, in creating experiences about astronomy and space, the science museum/center field does not embrace the larger-scale experiences that might provide more emotional and visceral responses.
Well,Tomás has a new work that once again demonstrates this idea. Opening today at the K21 Ständhaus (kunstsammlung nordrhein-westfalen) in Düsseldorf is his new work “In Orbit.”
Just looking at these images sparks the idea of allowing brave visitors the chance to walk out in the piazza, over 60 feet in the air, and experience what it might be like to be immersed in some of those classic images from science fiction film where the view swoops by planets or orbs. In addition, Tomás mentions that one can detect other visitors by sensing vibrations that propagate through the netting.
One wonders if one could riff on this idea and actually make a model of the solar system that visitors could float above, allowing them to potentially “travel” between our planet and our nearest neighbors. Perhaps this is the closest many of us will get to fulfilling a dream we might have of going into space.
Here at the studio we still remember playing as a kid inside a store’s changing room where the mirrors on the left and the right were on hinges. This allowed us to turn them to face each other and we could step between them and see ourselves disappear into what seemed like infinity.
We as humans seem to have an affinity to peer into infinity.
Thinking about this the incredible appeal of peering into the infinite is one that is filled with mystery, the unknown, a world beyond our own. It taps into the human desire to explore and understand.
This work allows us to look into an infinite garden. It would seem that in this piece the longing of wanting to explore the space might be even more pronounced since one is actually outside and “just outside” too.
The second way in which it works is to enter inside where you find yourself at the center of infinity where you are invited to swing.
Here at the studio we are struck by the way these seem to tap into some primal desire of humans to look into infinity and the emotions that evoke. The playfulness, mystery, seeking understanding, are all very powerful.
In creating exhibition design as much as we look for education learning impacts tied to curriculum in today’s modern museum thinking – we strongly urge that we should set emotions such as these at the core of what we are designing as well. While there may in fact need to be more didactic exhibits, paired with experiences that touch these emotional goals, an exhibition can create a much more memorable and impactful outcome. Much like the simple experiences of that infinity we found in the store’s changing room.
This piece done in Linz, Austria allowed experiencers to get the view of feeling of walking amongst the clouds that might fill the sky. The installation uses high pressure pumps and fog nozzles. What a special experience this might be to have as part of an institution from a aviation museum, children’s museum to an exhibition on weather, birds or even dreaming.
The second piece is “fluff” an interactive lighting system from the Japanese design studio tangent.
This interactive lighting display made from balloons (1.1 meters in diameter) and LEDs changes its appearance according to sound and video displays. What immediately came to mind was to use this to create the feeling of being beneath the waves surrounded by “jellies” or as an evocative space to discuss the idea of different forms of life such as what might evolve on a gas giant.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our field’s exhibition spaces would focus as much on this type of inspiration as they often do on curricula or education.
Often science centers and other museums look to engage people about how to understand different aspects of phenomena in three dimensional space on two dimensional displays (screens, graphics etc.).
What we often do not do is represent the three dimensional space in actual 3D space, allowing us to present the phenomena’s behavior in more powerful ways.
But since we are three dimensional creatures possibly this is the best way to understand or appreciate 3d space and what occurs there – seen or unseen.
Here are two examples that certainly one can riff on that made us think about this. The first is FLUIDIC by WHITEvoid.
Using 12,000 suspended spheres, a camera that senses the viewer and eight high speed lasers it creates an almost magical experience. We believe that being illuminated by laser light adds something special. Certainly a concept programmed to both enchant but to do so mimicking certain scientific phenomena could be impactful. By the way want to see this in person? Go to the Temporary Museum for New Design in Milan where it will be on display through April 14th.
This piece includes 8,064 spheres and LED lit. It too responds to visitors. This time though it’s possible to enter the space. Imagine explaining crystal structure, data movement or some other unseen movement through 3D space. You can see this at the Gallery ROM for Art and Architecture in Oslo, Norway
Often we fixate the on screens as the visual way to present information. What we may need to do more of is dedicate more space and create 3D spaces to represent 3D phenomena. We feel this creates an experience and opportunity that in fact is more powerful that what we have normally done.
If you know of more examples send them to us here on the blog.