Museum without walls

In Museum [Insider], Museums, new content on July 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

The Causeway Museum Service in Northern Ireland has been operating very succesfully for year without one key element – a building. The service provides temporary exhibition content and outreach projects for a variety of venues but has, hitherto, not had a place it can call home.

That’s all about to change with the requsitioning by Coleraine Borough Council of the old Market Yard, an abandoned market place in the centre of the town. It will be redeveloped and a new museum placed in the centre, revitalising the town and bringing the story of the area to life in a permanent display. There will also be temporary exhibition areas and a community space where locals can get involved.

I’ve spent the last year or so looking at museum development projects, but this is perhaps one of the most ingenious I’ve seen, given that it turns the audience engagement model on its head. Rather than creating a huge building and then spending a lot of time effort and money on getting people in to see objects, Causeway have found the people already, engaged them successfullu and are now going to use that good will to bid to the HLF for money to complete a building for them. There’s a piece all about it – including an itnerview with the designers HKD – on Museum [Insider].

This is one of the pieces that will be going into the new Museum [Insider] e-book, coming out shortly. It’s a review of some of the projects I’ve written about in the last 18 months for the online magazine. It’s being edited right now – we’re digging around again on some of the older stories to bring them right  up to date. The collection of articles – plus new material, exclusive to the book – will be issued for sale in about a month. Much more to come on that in the near future.


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