Category Museums

Spectacular Spaces Made of Glowing String

I’m constantly curious about innovation in the design of experiences, and that inevitably causes my head to turn when someone unveils promising new technologies. But lately I have been more compelled by new thinking that doesn’t require gadgetry to make me look twice. We’ve seen galleries made of pure color, an exhibit that uses your sense of smell instead of one you’d expect, and other surprises. The latest in this hopefully growing trend for me is the work of Korean-German artist Jeongmoon Choi, who creates magical spaces with nothing but some string and UV lights. Note to self: don’t wait for the next electronics product announcement to conceive something fresh.

Originally spotted at Creator’s Project.

Interactive Exhibit Galleries of Pure Color

When Carlos Cruz-Diez began, it wasn’t called “installation art”, but rather the Kinetic Movement. He has been hard at work on his “Chromosaturation” series ever since, with two shows currently in Paris and Mexico. Using only very simply filtered flourescent lights, he changes the entire feeling of a space. Even the color of the visitors themselves changes, as they interact by moving through the zones of red, green and blue.

From designboom:

The chromatic spaces act as detonators to alter the perception of its audience – modifying skin color, clothing and objects – shocking viewers’ retinas from the changing visual saturation as they move from booth to booth. Cruz-Diez experiments with the spectator’s quotidian experience of color, disrupting the way light is processed by the human eye – creating an aesthetic universe that submerges the observer in the artist’s autonomous reality of color, time and space.

Via designboom and others.

“Play Work Build” at NBM

The National Building Museum has launched an an interactive exhibit on the history of building blocks. From the Co.Design article:

This month in Washington D.C., the National Building Museum is staging an exhibition devoted in part to [architect David Rockwell’s] Imagination Playground. Installed in the museum’s wide galleries, Play Work Build chronicles the history of active play in the most appropriate way possible: by asking visitors to actually play the games. A massive series of shelves offers more than 2,300 architectural and construction games, from Froebel Blocks to Tinker Toys. Some of the building games date back to the 1870s.

Echoes of the Past: Digital Cave

Now showing at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan” includes a “digital cave”:

Weaving together archival photographs and current imaging technology, the Digital Cave serves as a virtual reconstruction of the South Cave at Northern Xiangtangshan. This immersive installation allows viewers to experience the site and see sculptures that have been removed from the cave restored within their original setting. The configuration and scale of the three screens are based on the architecture of the South Cave, the latest of the three cave temples of the northern group and one that contains inscriptions dated to 568–572. The South Cave features an open cubical chamber, about ten feet wide by nine feet deep, with curving recesses on the back and side walls that house symmetrical groupings of deities.

Learn more at:

Via James Hicks.

Art of Scent

Does all innovation in exhibition design have to be purely technology-driven? That’s what I was asking myself just this morning. And right on time, along comes a Times review of “The Art of Scent 1889-2012,” the new exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design, changing the primary sense used by exhibit visitors from visual to olfactory. And demonstrating that innovation can come in many flavors. Or smells.

UPDATE, 27 Nov 2012: More now in (Fast)Co.Design.

Zimoun’s Tower of Sound

Everyone’s favorite sound installation artist, Zimoun, is back with a new installation at the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo. See more videos from Studio Zimoun here. And here is his latest highlights reel, for good measure:

MoMA’s In-House Design Team: The Website

I never thought to look for the online portfolio of MoMA’s in-house design team until I stumbled on it somehow through Quora’s exhibit design topic. Worth a loooong visit!

Stonehenge Visitor Centre by Denton Corker Marshall

No, it’s not over the stones, it’s nearby. (I had the same question.)

Via Dezeen.

Exhibit Design Bookshelf

A while back I created an exhibit design bookshelf on Shelfari (with the help of then-intern-now-designer Jess Griscti). For years I have collected books on exhibit design, museum planning and interactive space. I have the actual physical bookshelf, with all the actual books, in my office, so I don’t look at the virtual one that often. It’s worth a look. It still needs some categorizing and blurbs, but I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else.

Google World Wonders Project

There is debate about Google Art Project, and I’m sure there will be more for Google World Wonders. But there is something to be said for bringing far-flung, spectacular cultural places into your living room. Not to mention the carbon footprint advantages.

(And as a colleague of mine said recently, “Yes, but can I have that glass-window-wall-world-view thingy in my house?”)

9/11 in the Times

This article, just out in the Times, is a must-read discussion about the challenges of putting together the story for the 9/11 project. Most of the press coverage in the past years has focused on the budget, logistics, or politics of the whole thing; this is the first to point out the challenges of interpretation.

UPDATE: In a related piece on the budget-related construction freeze at 9/11, the Times offers a few interesting economic stats. Also worth reading.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Video Tour

The ‘Schiaparelli and Prada’ exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens this week, with a compelling approach to exhibit design and curation. Especially interesting: the use of custom-shot video in juxtaposition with the objects on display. The videos put two fashion designers from very different eras into “conversation” with each other, though a real talk never happened.

Via New York Magazine.

Piano’s New Whitney, in Mindboggling Flythrough Form

This week, Core77 posted a fly-through video of Renzo Piano’s new design for the Whitney in the meatpacking district, which is planned to open in 2015 at the south end of the High Line. It will be a “200,000-square foot museum that includes 13,000-square-feet for outdoor exhibitions as well as an 18,000-square-foot temporary gallery,” and will contain “the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City.” I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time there.

Via Core77.

Condoms Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou in Paris is being, um, protected by 80,000 condoms. Irish artist Bryan McCormack‘s Preservation is Life lines the iconic staircase on the facade. Brilliant.

Via Feel Desain.

Graphic Design: Now In Production

Speaking of designing exhibits about design, here is a great short video by Walker Art Center about their current exhibition, Graphic Design: Now In Production. It features curator Ellen Lupton from the Cooper-Hewitt, design director Andrew Blauvelt from the Walker … and lots of installation imagery of the exhibit itself. Just in time, too: the show closes on January 22.