How does architecture affect our experience of museums and how does it relate to the ‘art of exhibiting’? How some museums create a sense of personal exploration, and others have an intensely didactic character, how the visit in some museums is transformed to a spatial experience and in others to a social event?
The course introduces students to strategic and practical issues in the architectural-spatial design of museums and exhibitions, on the triple scale of the exhibit, the display, and the building. The aim is to show how the design and organization of space constructs connections between galleries, between objects, and between visitors, and contributes to the distinctive spatial, intellectual and social character of the museum. It analyzes key issues in spatial design – such as the relations of access and visibility, and their effects on visitors’ experience: the way in which they explore and use the museum, ‘read’ the display, and become aware of each other. Through case studies, practical exercises, and a project, the course seeks on the one hand, to contibute to a deeper theoretical understaning of the way museums and galleries organize space and their collections to create different informational and social experiences for their audiences; and on the other, to provide practical knowledge on techniques of configuration analysis of museum and building layouts in general.