In recent years the museum as an institution has been going through an identity crisis. Questions surrounding its programming offer as well as the audience it is servicing have been at the helm of discussion. Are they here to engage, educate and create experiences? Are they here to serve artists, academics and the greater community.
If you ever visit St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the most dominant building piercing the city’s skyline is the gold dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Built between 1818 and 1858, by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand, it is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint.
One of the must-see things to do when you are in Dublin is visiting the Guinness Museum. It was one of the best museum experiences I have ever done. Unlike most traditional museums which present a collection of artifacts, the Storehouse takes you through the brewing process of how this famous beer is made. The layout, the graphic design, the sensory elements, the overall presentation etc. really make this museum exemplary in terms of cohesive and immersive storytelling.
When I was thinking of traveling to Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow were at the top of my list. But when I heard of the opening of a new V&A museum in Dundee, designed by Kengo Kuma really solidified my decision to go there. It’s quite a distance from Edinburgh, a couple of hours at least. On your way to Dundee you can see rolling hills and the occasional herd of sheep passing you by. The most majestic part of the journey is traveling across the river and seeing this jagged little site at the edge of the water.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery is one of the most recognizable buildings in Glasgow. Designed by John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen in 1901, it was originally titled the Palace of Fine Arts. As a designer walking through the space, I’m the type of person who is looking at the context and not necessarily the content. I’m looking at how things are presented not necessarily the thing on display. As I entered the wing with all the busts, for me it’s not the sculptures that compel me closer, its the way they engage the viewer with the full spectrum of space. Busts hanging from the ceiling draws me more in than a bust of Queen Victoria.
You gotta love a museum with a sense of humour. In the front of the entrance stands an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington sculpted by Carlo Marochetti. The statue has a traffic cone on its head. The cone has come to represent the city’s light-hearted attitude to authority in most tourist books.
Last year I had the opportunity to travel to Scotland. I took a day and traveled to Glasgow where you can find some of the biggest hitters in architecture all within a kilometer of each other. The Clyde Auditorium (Armadillo) and SSE Hyrdo both designed by Foster and Partners, are right next to one of the best looking museums in all of Europe – The Museum of Transport / The Riverside Museum design by the one and only Zaha Hadid.
“We are brokers of dialogue,” Director of Conference Programming, Ian Chodikoff mentions as he explains the shift in IDS’ (Interior Design Show 2019) current vision. The expanded programming of “bringing people together to experience the power of design” speaks to the new opportunities the show is trying to foster among the industry.
On a recent trip to New York City, the one building I wanted to see was the Oculus at the World Trade Center designed by the legendary Santiago Calatrava. In his signature style, the white ribbed structure allows for light to come into the space where deep below the surface lie two levels of shopping and a subterranean rail station.
Sharing an Uber is always interesting when you tell them where you are going and they call the site a ‘parking lot.’ This is what I experienced on my last trip to Washington, DC. On a recent trip to Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to visit the National Building Museum to see Snarkitecture’s Fun House which is the Museum’s imaginative Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall.