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Museum für Kommunikation

Museum für Kommunikation, Bern (CH)

The new permanent exhibition we designed for the Museum für Kommunikation in Bern plunges you into the fascinating, complex world of communication. Interactive installations, surprising collection pieces, large video projections, and museum staff as ‘communicators’ challenge you to think about what communication is. You become aware of your own communication, the influence of big data, and the effects of the communication revolution we are in the midst of.

Location
Bern (CH)
Client
Museum für Kommunikation
Year
2017
Surface
2000
Status
Permanent
Role
Concept, Spatial design, Graphic design, Art direction
Team
Michel de Vaan (lead), Mark de Jong, Pauline Fer, Robin Schijfs, Serena Bigatti, Sietske Sips, Wendy Soek, Nienke van de Berg
Engineering, build and hardware
Bruns BV, Atatech, Atelier Lorraine, Aerocom GmbH
Media design
IJsfontein, Furbo, Cup
Light design
Mati AG
Film
VIA Projekte, Ton und Bild
Animations
TUMULT
Audio
Franz Szekeres Text / Stimme / Multimedia
Human contact as a starting point

For this assignment, the museum organized a pitch with the question: What is communication? We made videos with an actor who spontaneously enters into conversations with museum visitors, requiring them to communicate verbally or physically. This idea developed into the presence of real ‘communicators’ in the exhibition. They form the essence of the experience. They engage into conversation with you in all kinds of ways and at different moments. Not communicating is not an option in this museum. And that’s a good thing.

The whole museum is an exhibition

Initially, the assignment was to design an exhibition for part of the existing building. Instead, together with the client and architect, we made an exhibition for the whole building. We even involved the exterior.

Looking ahead

The new permanent set-up will remain in place for 15 years. That’s incredibly long for an evolving subject like communication. This naturally has an impact on the exhibition design. All the interactive elements are based on content that is timeless. The spatial design is modest and gives the museum the flexibility to make adjustments in the future.

Play
Maximizing interaction between and with visitors

This is the starting point for every part of the exhibition. In the form, materialization, and type of storytelling, we have done everything possible to bring visitors close to the subject. You are addressed personally everywhere and you sometimes need each other to move forward in the exhibition. For example, at the beginning of the exhibition you take a picture of yourself on the red carpet. Only much later will you find yourself among photos of all the other visitors. So, it’s all about you, but you are not alone.

Awards

Council of Europe Museum Prize 2019

Winner

Children in Museums Award 2018

Shortlisted