© 2005 – Routledge
Reshaping Museum Space pulls together the views of an international group of museum professionals, architects, designers and academics highlights the complexity, significance and malleability of museum space, and provides reflections upon recent developments in museum architecture and exhibition design.
Various chapters concentrate on the process of architectural and spatial reshaping, and the problems of navigating the often contradictory agendas and aspirations of the broad range of professionals and stakeholders involved in any new project.
Contributors review recent new build, expansion and exhibition projects questioning the types of museum space required at the beginning of the twenty-first century and highlighting a range of possibilities for creative museum design.
Essential reading for anyone involved in creating, designing and project managing the development of museum exhibits, and vital reading for students of the discipline.
Section 1: On the Nature of Museum Space 1. Rethinking Museum Architecture: Towards a Site-Specific History of Production and Use 2. Black Box Science in Black Box Science Centres 3. Space and the Machine: Adaptive Museums, Pervasive Technology and the New Gallery Environment 4. Creative Space Section 2: Architectural Reshaping 5. From Cultural Institution to Cultural Consumer Experience: Manchester Art Gallery Expansion Project 6. Spatial Culture, Way-Finding and the Educational Message: The Impact of Layout on the Spatial, Social and Educational Experiences of Visitors to Museums and Galleries 7. The Grande Galerie de l'Evolution: An Alternative Cognitive experience 8. Producing a Public for Art: Gallery Space in the Twenty-First Century 9. Towards a New Museum Architecture: Narrative and Representation Section 3: Inside Spaces 10. Building on Victorian Ideas 11. Representing Enlightenment Space 12. The Studio in the Gallery? 13. When Worlds Collide: The Contemporary Museum as Art Gallery 14. Constructing and Communicating Equality: The Social Agency of Museum Space Section 4: Creative Space 15. Threshold Fear 16. From Cathedra;s of Culture to Anchor Attractor 17. The Vital Museum
Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide ranging disciplines.
Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).
Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – to include art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.
The focus on the relationship of the museum to its publics shifts the emphasis from objects and collections and the study of museums as text, to studies grounded in the analysis of bodies and sites; identities and communities; ethics, moralities and politics.