Morning Session: What's Working / What's Not Preview
We asked 12 designers to tell us their 3 do's and don'ts. Here's a teaser of what they shared...
Museums came out of their shells some time ago but they still can’t quite let go. Just at the point they are loosening their grip, along comes a communication strategy that has them foregrounding their monolithic status again. Museums exist to help us find out about ourselves – a debate everyone can join but only if as visitors we can manage to get a word in. The new policies we need to get heard are simple and surprising.
Eight minutes with George Perec, Orhan Pamuk, Henry VIII, Queen Victoria, Tut-Ankh-Amon, Elvis Presley and Paul McLeod.
Without visitors we are redundant. Everything we do we do for them: they are our keystone. It is explicit in our work and it is measurable. The neighboring fields of spatial design want to learn from what we do. We don’t do fashion; instead we aim to work outside of taste. But what we do needs to be beautiful. Visitors are not them; they are us.
Zette Cazalas and Jesus Pacheco
Museum planning and exhibition design are drowned by dogmas and recipes to enhance the narrative potential of authentic objects or artifacts. "Engaging the audience" is another branch of the rationality tree where chaos can be considered as a failure or a misleading force against the institution role of preservation and education. From our intuitive understanding, we attempt to define some steps to preserve the chaos "freedom" at the museum and engage the audience from their randomness potential.
The exciting part of designing for audience participation is that the audiences are always very varied, and we try through our narratives to enliven, engage and enthrall, but without limiting our approach to a select few, or being unapproachable or unidimensional.
"It is all about engaging spaces. Is it possible to make exhibitions that take you
into another reality and transforms you into a different person than the one you
were before? A different person from when you came in?"
Britta Nagel and Kathrin Milic-Grunwald
To design for audience participation is like designing a menu. A meal can be a piece of art, a cultural artifact, an individual as well as social experience. Cooking is a tradition as well as vision, it is universal yet diverse. To prepare the right menu is a balancing act that requires the right ingredients, precision in preparation as well as collaboration and soul. So what to do in order to create a menu to remember?
at night alone
and wait for the dawn
And it is a reality all mine
and a strange atmosphere
pervades the mind in the evening
And it is an artist's life
but what I create
it's important to me
[...] (Amalia Grè, 2003)
Losing art and finding film.
- How do you populate a gallery when you have no artwork?
- How do 120 directors create a personal documentary?
- Why create a project with the sole intent to destroy it?
Examples of how digital projects can use online engagement to generate new curated experiences, new tools, new content and new audiences.
Is there a de facto methodology for engaging with audiences and designing for audience participation? Will we all be promoting the same principles?
Other morning presenters include: Frans Bevers, Zette Cazalas, Siddhartha Das, Ulrich Schwarz and Sam Willis.