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what makes a museum memorable??

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    What makes something memorable?

    I am studying architecture and designing a museum. I am focusing on the creation of memory, and what it is that actually creates memories. I must have been to so many museums and galleries throughout my life but there are only a handful that I remember. Sometimes it was a shock factor, other times it was a surprise discovery, sometimes the rooms the objects were in were like artwork themselves.

    Anyway, id love to hear some more perspectives on what makes something memorable. Is it the object/space/place/discovery etc.
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    I think it's made more memorable if you can interect in some way.

    I recall once a special Titanic exhibition was shown in London (many of the artifacts were borrowed from the US for a time). They gave you an entry ticket as a copy of a Titanic ticket based on a real person. In one of the rooms there was a massive ice block which you could touch, to give you an idea of the temperature on the night of the sinking. It may seem childish to some but it kept you involved.
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    If you are asking in terms of what makes the building memorable. I find the more beautiful I find the building or museum the more distictly I remember it, however, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this might not help :P

    Also if the building can, as mentioned above, 'interact' with the museum. So for example I have a clear image in my head of a hotel I used to stay in as a child with half a car sticking out of the wall. The building can become more than just what houses the museum, it has to be a part of it.

    Also I sort of feel as if I have two different kinds of memories of museums, I have images in my head of what they looked like, but also sequences of things that happened there. I'm guessing you want people to remember the museum in the first kind of memory?

    Also not that this helps, but when I was younger I once went to a pretty traumatising museum with shrunken heads, and a dead body all shrunken up in a giant glass jar ... I definately remember that one!
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    Gift Shop on the way out.
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    Interaction I think, I'll never forget when I first came face to face with the huge moving robot T-rex in the natural history museum.
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    (Original post by bigfishlittlefish9)
    If you are asking in terms of what makes the building memorable. I find the more beautiful I find the building or museum the more distictly I remember it, however, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this might not help :P

    Also if the building can, as mentioned above, 'interact' with the museum. So for example I have a clear image in my head of a hotel I used to stay in as a child with half a car sticking out of the wall. The building can become more than just what houses the museum, it has to be a part of it.

    Also I sort of feel as if I have two different kinds of memories of museums, I have images in my head of what they looked like, but also sequences of things that happened there. I'm guessing you want people to remember the museum in the first kind of memory?

    Also not that this helps, but when I was younger I once went to a pretty traumatising museum with shrunken heads, and a dead body all shrunken up in a giant glass jar ... I definately remember that one!
    I definately agree with all of this. I will never forget the hermitage because of how stunning each one of the rooms was. What creates beauty is an interesting question though. Maybe its in both the details and craftsmanship and the big picture.

    Interaction is interesting because im not sure how to apply it when the objects the museum houses might be quite general. so im thinking of ways of displaying things where your movement through them changes the way theyre percieved...

    Im also thinking of how the objects are displayed... a museum is just a collection of fragments so maybe the rooms become fragmented and the objects are set within it... kind of cave/recess like

    I think both kinds of memories are important in the museum. The place where the memories are born (because otherwise they are objects in an empty shell) and also the idea of passing collective memories down through time which is object/story based. (sequence of movement)

    The last one is shock factor! I remember some horrible museums in vietnam and cambodia for all the imagery... im thinking of the museum itself playing the role of contrast between spaces might do this a bit....
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    (Original post by Ladyliesel)
    I think it's made more memorable if you can interect in some way.

    I recall once a special Titanic exhibition was shown in London (many of the artifacts were borrowed from the US for a time). They gave you an entry ticket as a copy of a Titanic ticket based on a real person. In one of the rooms there was a massive ice block which you could touch, to give you an idea of the temperature on the night of the sinking. It may seem childish to some but it kept you involved.
    I remember a museum where they gave you a polaroid type thing and later on an opportunity to look through some light into it to see what character you were given... that was really cool and allowed you to have a souveneer to remember it by
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    I think it maybe sticks in your mind more if the design is related to the artifacts. E.g, I went to a tiny volcano museum once, but all the walls were made to look like lava. And more recently a gemstone museum that was made to look like it had seams of minerals in the walls. If the design is related to the content I think it always sticks in my head.
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    The amount of crap you looted. That's what makes it memorable.

    "Yeah well, I looted this much crap, more than you Berlin"

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