Masterclass – Ensuring consistency of the visitor experience: what is at stake when creating a museum?

As part of the  event Les Rencontres organized by France Muséums on January 15th, 2022 at the France Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai, France Muséums, in partnership with Chargeurs Museum Solutions, is organizing a masterclass dedicated to museum professionals. On this occasion, speakers and participants question together the necessity for each discipline to work closely from the very beginning of a project (integrating knowledge, skills and experiences) and the advantage of pushing boundaries to capture the museum visitor experience as a whole.

Nowadays, museums face complex challenges. As places where our historic heritage is preserved and where artworks are showcased, their scientific and cultural dimensions are fundamental.  Their educational, social, and economic roles are more than ever important, as a result of which museums are drawn into debates on key social issues.  Yet project leaders tend to forget what is essential when it comes to museums — namely the necessity to offer a narrative-based project, designed for the general public.

For France Muséums, which supports museum projects in their transformation, this is a crucial question. How can we make people want to visit and return to museums, in times of changes where museums are sometimes seen as backward-looking institutions? “The museum,” said Sherman Lee, “is a primary source of wonder and delight for mind and heart.” How can we ensure that his words continue to ring true?

(Article « Art Museums and Education » by Sherman Lee published in Past, Present, East and West, New York, George Braziller, 1983)

The museum must not become an ordinary place, yet it must be said that museums in themselves have not changed a lot in a few decades while the way people interact radically changed. The way audiences perceive museums and the artworks they contain is radically different now. Museums must offer wondrous experiences; they must provide insights into the mysteries of creation; they must invite to embark on new journeys. And artworks serve a much broader purpose: create a sensory experience that conveys a particular message and brings stories to life.

Building the visitor experience, together

While project holders are pushing the boundaries of design and content, designers are challenging the limits of buildability, and visitors are getting more and more demanding. Cross-disciplinary work has never been as essential to museum projects as it is today, for all disciplines to work together and capture the visitor experience as a whole. With this in mind, we bring experts with complementary expertise to discuss with participants how all these disciplines, in playing their respective roles and sharing their know-how, can collaborate to develop an integrative approach.

We will provide participants with the opportunity to learn from the experience of internationally renowned experts, with whom they will be able to exchange views. The purpose of this experience-sharing session is to provide a platform for innovative ideas to emerge and new perspectives to be explored.

EXPERTS

Moderated by Carol See, Sales and Marketing Director at Chargeurs Museum Solutions

Facilitator: Julie Gloannec, Training Officer at France Muséums

  • Peter Karn, Creative Director of MET Studio

As Global Creative Director of experiential design agency MET Studio, Peter creates highly innovative, interactive and immersive projects that connect audiences with stories. 

Working primarily with global museums, charities, cultural institutions and progressive brands, Peter has a passion for creating experiences that have a transformative effect on visitors and communities. Having worked in the museum and experiential design industry for the past 20 years, Peter is now using his knowledge and experience to focus on creating experiences that have transformative effect on audiences in both the cultural and commercial sectors. He is currently designing a series of new museums and galleries educating younger about cultural, environmental and scientific subjects as well as work for leading brands and expos including the Mobility Pavilion at Expo 2020. 

Peter also acts as a mentor for MA students on the Central Saint Martins, Narrative Environments course, helping nurture young creative talent within the exhibition design industry. 

  • Robin Rochford, Director of Design PM

Robin has extensive museum, visitor attraction, arts & cultural project management experience. From a career in theatre production, Robin moved into culture and heritage in 2004. Robin joined DesignPM in 2019, bringing a track record of delivering over 30 museum projects in consultancy, client-side and contracting roles. This diversity of experience is rare in the industry and gives Robin invaluable insights into the motivations and needs of stakeholders and project team members at every stage of the project cycle. 

Motivated by the unique nature of museum projects, Robin enjoys the challenge of finding solutions to the complex and high stakes challenges inherent in large scale international cultural and heritage projects. 

Stéphane Roisin joined France Muséums in February 2019 as Deputy CEO. He has been designing and implementing artistic, tourism-related and complex cultural projects for more than fifteen years both in France and abroad, particularly in Asia, and is an expert in strategic heritage programming and planning. 

  • Lina Ghotmeh, Architect

Lina Ghotmeh is the founder of Paris-based atelier Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture. Echoing her lived experience of Beirut, her office’s work is orchestrated as an “Archeology of the Future”: every project emerges in complete symbiosis with nature following a thorough historical and materially sensitive approach. Projects include the Estonian National Museum (Grand Prix Afex 2016), the Antuo Hills Museums in Shenzhen, finalists of the international competition, the Choregraphic Center of the city of Tours, and “Stone Garden”, hand crafted tower and gallery spaces in Beirut (2A Award and Dezeen Architecture of the year 2021 Award).

Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture is currently designing and realizing the ateliers Hermès in Normandy, a poetic encounter with nature set with highly sustainable ambitions. 

Lina Ghotmeh teaches architecture at Yale School in the United States and in the University of Toronto. She is co-president of the Scientific Network for architecture in extreme climates.

Registration are opens for the Masterclass

Date: 15 January

Time: 9am – 12pm

Place: Expo 2020 Dubai, Mobility District, France Pavilion

More info about Les Rencontres by France Muséums

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