Strategi för ett nytt Naturhistoriskt museum

Öppen tävling: “Authentic Objects – A multitude of narratives”

Arkitekter: Lisa Deurell (Paradiso Arkitekter) & Daniel Persson (bryn space)

Föremålen i museets samlingar bär på en mängd av berättelser. De är museets mest värdefulla tillgångar, både för besökare och forskare. Vår strategi för ett nytt naturhistoriskt museum är att genom ljudmedia tillåta en uppsjö utställningar pågå parallellt.

The objects
At the core of a museum of natural history are the collections of authentic objects; the specimens and the samples. They are the museum’s most valuable assets, for visitors and researchers alike. The authentic objects are loaded with stories, with knowledge waiting to be extracted. As the museum’s most valuable asset, the authentic objects should be released from the exhibition displays, from guiding signs, of explanatory texts and representational images. The authentic objects are fit and suited to be displayed and experienced as they are.

A multitude of narratives
The aim of our proposal is to liberate the museum’s objects, and in doing so liberate the visitor’s experience of the objects. When there is no imposed interpretation, there is an opening for the visitor to form personal interpretations of and relationships with the exhibited objects. By listening to different audio guides in the headphones, people can get completely different interpretations of the same spaces and objects, simultaneously. This exhibition strategy gives the individual the freedom to be curious and make his or her own discoveries. In this aspect the visitor resembles a researcher, as they are driven by the same kind of curiosity. And it means that the National Museum of Nature History would supply for an open ambience with layers of complexity, which the visitor can investigate and get absorbed into.

Open source library
The musuem can participate in the democratic use of technology and stimulate public participation and public debate. One of the ways is to make the framework for programming guided tours available to the public, making it open source. Opening up the possibility for the public to curate their own museum tours will provide for a sparkling and ecclectic multitude of narratives. Beyond the expertise of scientists and established people in other fields, lies the narratives of the connoisseur, the amateur, the rookie, the passionated, the wannabe and the fan.

The role of a museum
A contemporary museum of natural history has ceased to be a central institution with near monopoly on the interpretation of scientific finds. Even though the primary focus of the museum is the scientific narrative of natural history, culture is always present when describing the world. Also, the forces, resources and knowledge of nature have always defined culture. The strict separation between arts, humanities and nature science that has been dominating the last centuries is loosening up.  The museum should reach out and open its collections to be interpreted by disciplines outside of natural science, and also outside of academia, including laymen and artists. It will provide many insightful, inspiring, fun and thoughtful exhibitions, and it will make the new museum a vibrant place in the science community and in the city.