The architects put their know-how at the service of the design of the exhibitions

Too often, museums organize exhibitions in a uniform style. Monochromatic podiums, showcases and partitions are carefully distributed in neutral spaces in white cubes so as not to interfere with the works on display. While the case for this restrained method remains valid in many ways, a new push to break the mold and diversify exhibition design is challenging the status quo. In a world where people’s attention spans have shortened and engagement is harder to come by, major cultural institutions have had to rethink the standard exhibition model. Top museums have started using theatrical devices and the latest technology to program immersive shows that draw crowds. However, the line between genuine engagement and sensationalized appeasement in these contexts has become harder to distinguish.

Multidisciplinary architectural firms contribute to refining this new approach. Harnessed by top institutions, these practices develop dynamic designs that expand curatorial visions of diverse performances but also enrich the visitor experience. Architectural elements become holistic environments that convey clear scenarios. Applying their expertise to this medium is similar to working in interior design. However, the museum gallery is another kind of “blank canvas” that gives architects the freedom to experiment. Instead of being taken for granted, exhibit design has come out of the shadows and is now understood as a crucial part of any program. The following selection of current and recent exhibitions designed by architects represents a range of approaches that constitute this new trend.

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