1st Edition

Museum Configurations An Inquiry Into The Design Of Spatial Syntaxes

Edited By John Peponis Copyright 2024
    294 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 79 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Museum Configurations demonstrates how museum space functions cognitively and communicatively and questions whether it can be designed to provide a rich embodied experience, situating displays and their public in felicitous dialogue.

    Including contributions from authors working in the disciplines of architecture, psychology, museum studies, history and the visual arts, this volume addresses an interdisciplinary audience. The analysis of a wealth of examples shows how the voices of architects, curators and exhibition designers enter into dialogue and invite visitors to make their own connections between physical, cognitive and affective space. Considering how the layout of museums facilitates movement and orientation so that visitors may devote their attention to displays, the book questions what kinds of visual attention characterizes museum experiences and how the design of museum space can support them. In the context of an often dematerialized, atomized, and dissipating contemporary culture, the book proposes that museums can function as shared space that supports enjoyment and learning without being overly didactic.

    Museum Configurations focuses upon the functions and aims of the design of space. This makes the book particularly interesting to academics and students working in exhibition design and museum architecture, as well as to exhibition designers, curators, and architects.

    1.     Museums as spatial configurations

    John Peponis


    2.     The dialectic of the enlightenment museum: Edifice, edification, and dissolution

    Wilfried Wang


    3.      Movement, visibility, and the states of museum experience

    Kali Tzortzi


    4.     Intelligibility and the structures of freedom

    Sean Hanna


    5.     A stimulating museum space: ‘Glancing away’ and engaging working memory in-between exhibits

    Jakub Krukar


    6.     Narrative, dramaturgy and spatial choreography: movement and subjectivity in museum configurations

    Daniel Koch


    7.     Spacing collections. Space syntax and a museum yet to come

    Yves Abrioux


    8.     Navigating museum space: Mapping, syntax, and metaphor

    Kenneth J. Knoespel


    9.     Designing the syntax of museum space in the studio

    John Peponis


    10.  Postscript: What more can museum architecture do?

    Barbara Maria Stafford




    John Peponis is Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.