Speakers


Tom Hennes | Thinc Design, New York, USA

As Thinc’s Founder and Principal, Tom Hennes has developed a design approach that is grounded in a deep knowledge of history and world cultures, and a profound respect for the environment. Hennes’s exhibition designs are in natural history and other types of museums, national heritage projects, science centers, aquaria, zoos, and children’s museums, among others. […]


Kathleen McLean | Independent Exhibitions, California, USA

Kathleen McLean is principal of Independent Exhibitions, a museum consulting firm specializing in exhibition development, design, programming, and strategic planning. From January 1994 through September 2004 she was the Director of the Center for Public Exhibition and Public Programs at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California, where she directed the major revisioning and strategic planning […]


Susan L.T. Ashley | Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

 ‘Engage the World’: examining conflicts of engagement in museum spaces  Public engagement has become a central theme in the mission statements of many museums, demonstrating the continuing interest in knowledge-building with diverse publics. Museums seem to offer ideal spaces to tackle the impoverishment of public dialogue about issues of common concern, and loss of the […]


Tricia Austin | Central Saint Martins, London, UK

Cinema Museum: Film Karaoke Designing audience engagement is key to developing meaningful museum visitor experiences. This paper explores how the space for audience engagement can, through creative design strategies, be extended to the museum locale, in other words, into the urban fabric around museums; and, how the interior of the museum can be designed as […]


Amber Baechler | Toronto, Canada

The Problem of Exhibiting Architecture, Inside Architecture: How is architecture communicated? Throughout the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries we have witnessed a growing interest in architecture exhibitions. Without the rich institutional and curatorial traditions that frame fine art exhibitions, exhibiting architecture has proven to be a difficult endeavor for museums and galleries. The inability […]


Dr. Ariel Beaujot | University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, USA; Dr. Isabel Pedersen | University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Canada; Dr. Kristen Aspevig | Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada; Teresa Branch-Smith M.A. | Science North, Sudbury, Canada; Johanna Contreras | Royal Ontario Museum,Toronto, Canada

Breaking barriers of accessibility: temporal, spatial, visual and thought Museums are a discursive space with a very clear mandate, to communicate and connect with all members of the public. More so, museums serve a social function. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) claims that a museum is an institution “in the service of society and […]


Noa Bronstein | Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Canada; Darren O’Donnell | University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Britt Welter-Nolan | Independent curator and design educator, Toronto, Canada

Permission Granted: The Power of Saying Yes! How do we create the conditions for emergence within a cultural institution? When we cannot define a project from the outset, can we collectively create parameters for communities to perform their own narratives in an inclusive and dynamic way? What is the foundation for inclusive creative programming? This […]


Sarah Brophy, Janice Hladki, Mary O’Connor and Jessie Travis | McMaster University

“Pedagogy, Engagement, and the Space of Exhibition” 1)  “The Possibilities and Limits of Museology in the Un-Cripped University” (Brophy and Hladki) 2)  “bodily loco/motion: seeing un-/disorder, the body and embodied archives in Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion”  (Travis) 3)  “Making and Theorizing Archives: A Pedagogical Experiment” (O’Connor)   With this panel, we explore museology as pedagogy, […]


Matthew Dawson | Forrec Ltd., Toronto, Canada

Experimenting in heartland America: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a new museum in Bentonville, Arkansas where residents and school children experience exceptional art not seen before in that part of the country. The Museum presents its collection of American art from colonial to contemporary in as a […]


David Francis | University College London, London, UK

Discourse and narrative exhibitions at the British Museum The exhibition The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army was a landmark exhibition for the British Museum. It attracted over 800,000 visitors – the largest attendance figures since the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibition of 1972. It also represented a shift in approach, as the British Museum sought to […]


Andrew Furman | Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

University in a museum, museum in a university Recently, a collaborative studio was undertaken with the Schools of Planning, Architecture and Interiors at Ryerson University. Since each school is housed in a separate faculty, inter-disciplinary learning and the sharing of resources amongst the students and faculty was a goal. Largely successful as a pilot, the […]


Jonathan Hale | University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

The Museum as Discursive and Dialogical Space In the chapter “Others and the human world” from the Phenomenology of Perception, (361-383, 2012) the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty described how our everyday sense of being self-contained and independent human subjects is in fact fundamentally dependent on an ongoing process of interaction and dialogue with others. This […]


Dr. Laura Hanks | University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Narrative, Story and Discourse as Manifest in the Contemporary Museum Following on from the 2010 conference, Narrative Space, this paper seeks to explore the complex set of relations between narrative, story and discourse as manifest in the contemporary museum.  It takes the analysis of Chatman in, Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film, […]


Gillian McIntyre | Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

T-Waterfall: Facilitating Public Dialogue in Exhibitions Through Social Media ocial media is primarily used by museums as a marketing and communication tool. In 2012 an exhibition of work, by the artist Iain Baxter&, presented the opportunity to experiment with using social media to create meaningful dialogue between the artist, visitors and the institution. Iain Baxter& […]


Sven Mehzoud and Vince Dziekan | MADA: Monash Art Design & Architecture, Monash University

Activating ex_UrbanScreens: Applied curatorial design strategies for a new media arts festival In contemporary exhibition-making practice, design strategies are shifting their focus from concentrating on the display of artefacts that provide ‘object lessons’ towards the creation of more immersive and engaging museum experiences. Today, it is becoming far more commonplace to encounter exhibitions that incorporate […]


Ingrid Mida | Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada and Guela Solow | ARK, Toronto, Canada

Ryerson Fashion Research Collection: Decentralizing The Museum A study collection, like a museum, is intended to educate and inspire. The Ryerson Fashion Research Collection includes several thousand garments, accessories and other artifacts acquired by donation for study purposes in the School of Fashion. Although garments as artifacts embody “complex composites with multiple histories” (Palmer and […]


Marcus Miller | Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

The New Flaneurs: Contemporary Urban Practice and the Picturesque The title of the show was The New Flaneurs: Contemporary Urban Practice and the Picturesque. It featured a collaborative video-installation by Situationist-inspired artist Don Gill and dancer Sarah Williams (formerly with La La La Human Steps). With special attention to social history, Gill roots his work […]


Michelle Moore | University of Queensland, Brisbane, AUS

Communicative spaces for cross-cultural encounters Design responses to a paradigm shift occurring in museum communication ideology are the focus of this paper. Discussion centres on the contributions spatial and exhibition design strategies can make towards wider and deeper connections between museums and their increasingly diverse audiences. As growing interest in relating stories begins to supplant […]


Dimitra Ntzani | University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Laying Siege On The Content: Questioning the effectiveness of the “container” metaphor in contemporary museum design The Architectural Review journal welcomed 2013 with an issue dedicated to museums. In one of its articles, Prof. Antonello Marotta speaks of the museum as a space created “to look backwards” while he briefly comments on the main metaphors […]


Heidi Overhill | Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Toronto, Canada

Design as choreography: information as affordance Exhibition design differs from many other forms of design in that its explicit aim is to effect a transformation in the viewer who experiences the designed environment. The transformation is often understood as an intellectual one, in which “information” of some kind is transferred from the environment to visitors, […]


Evan Pavka | Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Memento Mori: memory + identity in the typologies of death Cemeteries have existed on the periphery of urban centers for centuries addressing social, cultural, and spiritual needs concerning the preservation of identity as well as memory. This focus on identity and memory is paralleled in the structure of museums and cultural institutions. While cemeteries themselves […]


Jona Piehl | Central Saint Martins, London, UK

Graphic design and its interpretive potential in exhibitions While the importance of design is acknowledged in the collaborative practice of exhibition making  and increasingly part of the museological discourse , there is as yet little research or analysis of the effects of graphic design in exhibitions beyond its purpose of organisation and formatting of content […]


Julia Pitts | Central Saint Martins / Science Museum, London, UK

Re-evaluating the role of narrative in today’s museum exhibitions Current practice, as exemplified by the Science Museum in London, discounts narrative as a significant tool for engagement in exhibitions, and in particular as an organizing structure for the visitor experience. It does this because of perceived conflicts between the principles of narrative and the Museum’s […]


Jacqueline Power | University of Tasmania, Launceston, AUS and Rina Bernabei | University of New South Wales, Sydney, AUS

Stories in Form: a product design exhibition inspired by academic research Over a number of years the authors have developed a methodology for product design that provides the potential to instill stories in products. One of the authors and her design partner of the award-winning firm Bernabeifreeman, have been implementing this methodology in their own […]


Gillian Russell | Royal College of Art, London, UK

ReStaging:  Speculative Design and the Curatorial This paper examines what is arguably one of the principal challenges facing curators who work with emerging design practice; namely the challenge of working with a terrain of praxis that presents alternative roles for design from those traditionally embraced by industry and the market (ie. aesthetic, economic and utilitarian). […]


Yvonne Tang | Lord Cultural Resources, Toronto, Canada

Putting Down the Textbooks: Creativity in a Developing World Building museums and exhibitions in developing countries is not unlike those in the developed countries. There are pushes and pulls from the client, filling the needs (and wants) of their visitors and the constraints of their resources – budget, space and collections. But there are also […]


Leanne Unruh | OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

Dialogical Curating: Towards Aboriginal Self-Representation in Museums This essay proposes the idea of dialogical curating based on Grant Kester’s term “dialogical art,” referring to the idea of allowing conversation with source communities to influence the process and outcome of an artwork, or in this case, a curated exhibition. It may be argued that some recent […]


Paola Zellner | Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

Between the Pyramid and the Labyrinth Museum experiences are determined by the triad content-space-visitor, where spaces, mostly preexisting and repurposed, house the content for the visitor to access. While the act of curating the work can span from producing seemingly objective displays to establishing poignantly critical positions, the act of designing the exhibit, has found, […]


Jana Scholze | Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Jana Scholze is Curator of Contemporary Furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where she worked on important acquisitions and various exhibitions, including *Cold War Modern. Design 1945-1970* (2008). She is regularly invited as lecturer and critique, and publishes on design history and theory internationally (including Medium Ausstellung, Transcript 2004). She is exhibition […]


Irene Campolmi | Aarhus University, Aarhus, DK

Sustainable Development and Sustainability in 21st Century Museums Rethinking the Modern Experience through the Narratives Making-Processes  In 1980s, postmodernism put into discussion the role of art museums and cultural institutions, It criticized that their narratives-making processes were not fair, transparent and open as the institutions devoted to the presentation of modern and contemporary art- first, […]


Jana Macalik | Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

STRIKING CURIOSITY: SELF-EXAMINING IDENTITY AND THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE The challenge of engaging students within the context of higher education has striking similarities to that of visitor engagement within museums and other cultural institutions. The rise and development of MOOCs (massive open online courses) as a methodology for expanding the network of information that becomes accessible […]


John Fraser | New Knowledge Organization

John Fraser Ph.D. AIA, is conservation psychologist, architect and educator serving as President and CEO of the non-profit think-tank, New Knowledge Organization. Dr. Fraser holds adjunct faculty positions at Columbia University, Hunter College, and is joining the faculties at Canisius College and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.  Dr. Fraser is a Research Scientist with The […]