Adieu – the Creative Museum project


The Creative Museum project, final conference, Gadagne Museums, Lyon, 5-8 July 2017, © Jenny Siung, 2017

The Creative Museum project made its final journey in the heart of Lyon, France in July. This was hosted by Gadagne Museums and entitled Building a Creative Museum Together and partnered with one of the project’s key partner Museomix.  This one-day conference, site visit and Museomix summer camp pretty much sums up the ethos of the project and reflected in a series of outputs published by the project:

The project seeks to explore and inform the connections between our cultural organisations and their communities by capitalising on the emergence of new and democratising digital technologies. The project seeks to extend the language of engagement through the medium of accessible, customisable, and personal digital experiences. It sees museums as dynamic learning environments in which staff and visitors can use accessible digital tools to explore and reason about collections in new and creative ways.

The concepts, case studies, recommendations, new initiatives and creative collaborations are captured in a series of online resources developed by the project. They are available for downloading (click on the titles below).

Analysis of Best Practices

The Creative Museum Recommendations

Toolkit for Building a Creative Museum: Connecting to Communities; Spaces for Yes and Strategies for Success

All of these were shared in some shape or form at the conference in Lyon with particular focus on the final output – the Toolkit. Lead partner Cap Sciences/Cecile Marsan introduced the project; Jo Anne Sunderland Bowe/Heritec explored research and analysis that evolved over the course of the project and are found in the Toolkit; Jenny Siung/Chester Beatty Library presented how the project has changed the way her museum has embraced makers to collaborate and co-create programmes for audiences. Both Don Undeen of Boom High Five and Samuel Bausson co-founder of Museomix, reflected on how museums have evolved over the past 10 years both in the USA and France.

Participants consisted mainly of French-based creatives, museum practitioners and members of the local Museomix community.  They were invited to break out in to smaller groups and attend 7 workshops some of which reflected the ToolkitConnecting to Communities; Spaces for Yes and Strategies for Success, as well as themes including Museums and Innovation, Museums: places of collective thought and agent for social innovation, Museums and Localities, Carte Blanche and possible spaces for Gadagne Museums.

How was this conference and workshops received? As in my last blog post, there is a demand from museum professionals and makers to bring creativity to other institutions and creatives. This project has inspired many, brought museums, makers and creatives together with incredible outcomes, creative collaborations as well as new ideas which may never have occurred if these parties worked alone. Plans are being developed to take the Creative Museum project to wider networks as there is a demand from the sectors to bring creativity to other institutions and creatives alike.

Thanks to all of our project partners, their respective networks and the new collaborators we have met along the way; Cap Sciences, Heritec, Chester Beatty LibrarySteps Europe, MiST Trondheim, Museomix, Finnish Museums Assocation, Radiona Makerspace, IBC Bologna, Jasper Visser and last but not least, Don Undeen.

Museomix Summer Camp

A highlight for me during this conference and partner meeting was a site visit to the local Museomix Summer camp. A number of prototypes were on display for both Museomix ‘campers’ and Creative Museum project partners. I was really intrigued by interactive prototypes as pictured above including

  • how to connect key components in cities;
  • 3D projection on sand;
  • an interactive panel when raised towards an overhead projector creates maps of constellations;
  • a hand-held device that can interpret e.g. Latin text of a museum object or turn pages of a book on display in a case for visitors.

These are just a few exciting and possible examples of how creative innovators use the latest digital technology to create access to museums and their potential audiences. For more details on how to join Museomix check out their website or this film below for a better idea of what they do, who they collaborate with and how to join forces of creatives and museums.