Introduction to the special issue on museum identities, exhibition designs and visitors' meaning-making

June 2012
Designs for Learning;2012, Vol. 5 Issue 1/2, p6
Academic Journal
Recently a group of scholars from Sweden and (a smaller group) from the UK, came together and worked on a project "'The Museum, the Exhibition and the Visitors: Meaning making in a new arena for learning and communication' (funded by the Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet). As the title indicates, the frame set for the project was large and ambitious. At the largest it was an attempt to look at a the change which has affected museums over significant slice of history, and tracking in outline what that change had been about; at the smallest level, looking in great detail how one might document the processes of learning in an exhibition. In between these two poles, the project examined various aspects of two contemporary museums: the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, and the Museum of London, in London, UK. In that space between the meta-level historic sweep, and the micro-level of individual learning was the interaction of curators and visitors, seen through a lens not so much of communication than of learning - or rather, in the light of our sense of the histories of this institution, learning seen as the fundamental instance and purpose of communication in this site.


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