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About Museum Scenography

Museum scenography is an interdisciplinary design philosophy that synthesizes many separate disciplines and aims to transform meanings into spatial forms. Classical approaches to the design of sociocultural spaces presuppose a certain discreteness of the process, when the artistic concept, script and multimedia solutions are created by different working groups (not always connected with each other). But today, when the expositions have become more complex and the visitors more demanding, holistic approaches to the project, with a single curatorial management, become relevant.

The philosophy of museum scenography is a response to the significantly more complicated structure of projects, which now combine not only objects and their design, but also narratives, internal architecture, spatial and graphic solutions, and media technologies. These layers are united by the concept and work on the content and idea of ​​the project. The concept of the museum set design of the project is a document that gives a complete idea of ​​both the ideology of the project and all artistic solutions, installations and audiovisual content. This document becomes the basis for further design and implementation.

Maintaining the integrity of the project at all its stages is a key feature of the philosophy of museum scenography
Why does a museum project need a concept?
Project without preliminary concept development:
  • Becomes discrete. Possible problems in communication between working groups when moving from stage to stage

  • Architectural solutions are designed in isolation from the content of the exposition

  • There is a high probability of losing some of the ideas and general intention without single management at all stages of the project

  • In the process of design and implementation, new details may arise that will entail non-systematic changes in the project.

A well-developed concept ensures:
  • The ability to design the internal architecture of the exposition based on its content and ideological content

  • Smooth transition to further stages of the project (design, implementation) without losing the overall concept

  • Unified curatorial vision and supervision of all components of the concept: semantic, scenario, artistic, installation, contextual

  • The guideline developed within the framework of the concept guarantees the integrity of the visual picture of the project

  • Conceptual solutions are systematically detailed at the design and implementation stages

Roles and skills

The curator of the project plays a key role in developing the concept of museum scenography. It is a kind of generator and systematizer of meanings, the creator of the structure of the future exposition, as well as a link between the museum and its scientific group and a group of artists, designers and other members of the Bureau’s team. It is the curator who is responsible for creating the concept, formulates tasks for designers, producers and information specialists, accompanies the project at all stages of its life cycle, as well as during engineering revision, implementation and installation.

The creation of socio-cultural projects today is the work of a team, and an interdisciplinary team, which brings together very different specialists. A properly structured process of interaction within the team is of fundamental importance; without it, bright creative ideas may simply not reach the stage of implementation.

Theme
Theme

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Editor
  • Project Manager
  • Organizer of project seminars

Freelance specialists

  • Scientific experts on topics
Content
Content

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Interpreter
  • Scientific communicator
  • Operations editor
  • Rewriter (exposition texts)
  • Graphic Designer
  • Producer
  • Project Manager
  • Organizer of project seminars

Freelance specialists

  • Scientific experts: historians, culturologists, anthropologists, sociologists
Audience
Audience

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Project Manager
  • Organizer of project seminars

Freelance specialists

  • Experts Educators, psychologists Disability Counselors
Functions
Functions

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Development specialist, marketer

Freelance specialists

  • Specialized museum specialists
  • Employees of children’s centers, lecture halls, museum shops
Space
Space

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Art Director
  • Project Manager
  • Information specialists
  • Development Specialist
  • Architect
  • Visualizer
  • Producer
  • Utility network specialists
  • Environment designer

Freelance specialists

  • Children’s educators, psychologists
  • Disability Counselors
  • Staff of thematic museums
Funds and archives
Funds and archives

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Environment designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Project Manager

Freelance specialists

  • Custodians (funds, special storage conditions), museum staff Historians, culturologists, art historians
  • Educational psychologists
  • Lawyers
Exposition structure
Exposition structure

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Information specialists
  • Screenwriter, playwriter
Artistic solution
Artistic solution

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Art Director
  • Project Manager
  • Environment designer
  • Visualizer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Designer-constructor

Freelance specialists

  • Decorator
  • Illustrator
  • Lighting specialist
Graphic design
Graphic design

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Art Director
  • Information specialists
  • Graphic Designer
  • Environment designer
  • Visualizer
  • Project Manager
  • Operations editor
  • Interpreter
  • Scientific communicator
  • Copywriter
  • Producer

Freelance specialists

  • Scientific experts
  • Translator
Installations
Installations

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Art Director
  • Information specialists
  • Producer
  • Project Manager
  • Graphic Designer
  • UX designer
  • Operations editor
  • Environment designer
  • Industrial designer
  • System engineer
  • Implementing designer
  • Design engineer

Freelance specialists

  • Scientific experts
  • Translator
Digital content
Digital content

In-house specialists

  • Curator
  • Art Director
  • Information specialists
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interface designer (UX / UI)
  • Producer
  • Illustrator, animator, retoucher
  • Project Manager
  • Scientific communicator
  • Screenwriter

Freelance specialists

  • Scientific experts
  • Editors
  • Screenwriters, playwrights
  • Directors
  • Commercial musicians
  • Sound designer
  • Music producer
  • Archivists
  • Lawyers
  • Translator
Budget management
Budget management

In-house specialists

  • Project Manager
  • Producer
  • Commercial Director
  • Curator

The museum exposition becomes a complex synthetic work, in the creation of which not only a large number of interdisciplinary specialists are involved, but also a variety of tools.

Museum scenography tools
Making narrative spaces, is the creation of narrative (“speaking”) spaces is what museum scenography does. Narrative is a broader concept than "theme" or "plot". It is a narrative and semantic line that is expressed through physical forms of exposure. This approach differs from "decoration", "design" or "architectural", because puts the substantive part at the forefront.
The base of any exposition is a subject line. But it is not only the subject collection that needs to be analyzed when developing a concept. It is necessary to take into account the "intangible array" - stories, expectations, digital archives. And often not only take into account, but also search, filling possible semantic gaps of the future project. In the course of the design of the exposition, with the advent of new materials and discoveries, it will gradually become different from what was originally conceived. Working out a meaningful project archive is a very difficult, but most important work, which is the foundation for those external forms that the visitor ultimately sees.
A scientific communicator is a person who translates from “scientific” to “popular”. The value of information as such in the museum has become significantly due to the feeling and the fact that a huge amount of information is available on request at any given time. At the same time, the value of interpretation has increased, when a museum becomes a conduit in the world of a huge amount of accessible, but unstructured information and conveys it to the visitor. At the same time, the trust in the museum remains very high at all times, which sets a high level of responsibility for everyone involved in museum design.
Design in the philosophy of museum scenography is a tool for interpreting narratives and meanings. Those. the designer carries out the task of interpreting the conceptual idea into physical forms of the exposition. Design tools can evoke different effects and emotions, depending on specific tasks. Exposure can even be intimidating or uncomfortable if conceptually justified. A museum artist or designer creates a special reality, an independent work that consists of many components. This is a very difficult and ambitious profession, which is associated with both pure creativity and deep reflection.
The most important tool in creating museum exhibits is graphic design. Graphic design is the communication of the exposition with the visitor, one might even say that this is the face of the exposition. That is why we perceive the development of graphic design primarily as the creation of the identity of the project, and only secondarily as a design function. Along with the concept that the curator is working on together with designers and scientific communicators, the art director of the project develops an identity and a guideline that contains visual constants for further use in graphics and digital interfaces.
Multimedia in an exposition can be both an information tool, broadcasting additional layers about the subject or theme of the story, and a powerful tool for influencing the emotions of the visitor. Complex, transmedia installations, solutions at the junction of the physical and digital worlds - create a context around the subject, broadcast images and narratives embedded in the museum concept, adjust to different audiences, and even manage the visitor's well-being. Sredi mnozhestva tekhnologicheskogo instrumentariya primenyayutsya takiye resheniya, kak: videomepping, karty s raspoznavaniyem metok, interaktivnyye proyektsionnyye steny, individual'nyye i uzkonapravlennyye akusticheskiye sistemy, mul'timediynyye makety, vitriny so vstroyennymi elektronnymi etiketkami, peredvizhnyye informatsionnyye terminaly i mnogoye drugoye. Ne stoit zabyvat' i o «nemul'timediynom interaktive»: vydvizhnyye sistemy, otkryvayushchiyesya moduli, kineticheskiye manipulyatory pri pravil'nom primenenii ne men'she, chem tsifrovyye resheniya, sposobny zakhvatit' vnimaniye posetitelya. Among the many technological tools, solutions such as: video mapping, maps with mark recognition, interactive projection walls, individual and highly targeted acoustic systems, multimedia layouts, display cases with embedded electronic labels, mobile information terminals and much more are used. Do not forget about "non-multimedia interactive": pull-out systems, opening modules, kinetic manipulators, when used correctly, are no less than digital solutions capable of capturing the attention of a visitor.
Light is a special tool that requires delicate taste, a sense of relevance and professionalism to handle. At the moment, there are a huge number of technical lighting solutions that can create the desired effect that the curator and museum artist wants to achieve. Approaches to the use of light in permanent exhibition halls or in halls of temporary exhibitions are very different - if in the first case the lighting is developed for static solutions for a long period, then in the second case more universal systems are required. The light in the exposition fundamentally affects the quality of perception of a museum object or an exposition solution, simultaneously creating a certain mood in the viewer.
User experience design begins at the very beginning of the concept development - when the audience of the future project is determined. It takes into account not only the factors of age or type of visit (individual, group), but also the characteristics of perception, geographical factor, level of knowledge, expectations. Formalization of the project audience at the concept stage influences all further functional features and exhibition solutions of the project. UX design is a discipline that is involved in the process of detailing installations and all user interfaces that are encountered in the exhibition. The visitor's interaction with the exposition should be thoughtful, logical, convenient and unobtrusive.
Feedback from our customers
The philosophy and methods of work of the creative team of the Bureau "Metaform" find a response from our customers. We can be proud of the letters of gratitude received from various cultural institutions in Russia and are making every effort to keep them in more and more.

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