Since the start of the pandemic, we have thought a lot about the nature of our work, particularly as most of the museums and cultural institutions we were working with took the impossibly difficult decision to close their doors. In this unsettling time, as many of our colleagues were put onto furlough, it was a natural time to think about the value of our work in the cultural sector, and what made us excited about what we were doing, and were we in fact working in the right way?
As our world ground to a halt, we also took this time to reflect on what should a museum be - and how at this time, more than ever, it needed to be an anchor for our culture and values, and be a place for people to learn, discover and debate. For people to find their ethical stance and to challenge their beliefs.
Two other events also sparked us to start this website:
Firstly, we were asked by the RIBA to edit their new publication’s chapter in ‘RETHINK Design Guide: Architecture for a post-pandemic world’ on cultural buildings and we really enjoyed gathering thoughts and opinions from our frequent collaborators, which allowed us to debate the subject from different angles – from curator, to contractor, from lighting designer, to client.
Secondly, as we began our teaching unit on architecture at London Metropolitan this year and we took A Museum for Now as our brief and starting point for the year. A Museum For Now - what should this be and how could it be designed in a way to be relevant to where we are as a society right now. It has been fascinating to see a younger generation of designers’ approach on this and to learn about the kind of collections and interpretation that they are finding relevant.
So much interesting discussion has happened during this last year, that we decided to continue and broaden this as a series of articles on this new website. We want to really challenge the debate about what is relevant.
We hope that this can act as an inspiration for anyone who is interested and please do get in touch if you would like to contribute your voice.