Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture
Museums, as a continuation of the urban environment, enrich people's recreational life and also carry the mission of education. Museums protect culture outside a textbook and make history closer to people’s lives. However, the present museum has not reached an ideal state for the expression and embodiment of cultural objects.
Time and history shape the objects, and the objects inside a museum record and memorialize the period of their creation. Stories and contest behind cultural objects’ creation are integral to knowledge and understanding. What do we remember after a museum visit? Displaying the full range of historical content to the audience pays respect to the cultural object and to the culture. The task of museums is to communicate and generate an intimate connection of information to the public in order to have the exhibition engage viewers in new conversations about the meanings of objects.
Audiences will be able to deepen their understanding of the object from different perspectives without prejudice. In view of the relationship between museums and cultural objects, my thesis questions existing display methodology and how museum could reveal complexities of history in order to bring honor to even the smallest cultural object for audiences to see the layer by layer social context behind it.
This thesis will emphasize the relationship between the audiences and the displayed object, allowing people to pause for a moment in front of the object to experience it within historical context. To balance the value of the cultural object and the stories behind it, the exhibition will work on the display system to connect the information with the exhibits thus enable audience to apply the stories onto the object. The thesis proposes a special museum for the double-sided wooden comb from my hometown Changzhou, China, as a prototype for cultural objects. Settled in a two-story building along the Grant Canal, the museum will take advantage of the natural light and the existing building. Distracting and transforming the light, a large string installation will direct people’s attention to the displayed combs. Creating a spatial experience for the viewing public, the strings will connect the objects with the content on the wall to guide people to have an integrated understanding of the social context hidden by the little wooden comb.
Combining with other regions and their cultural history, this mode of presentation can be extended to any region to contextualize the cultures and help people better understand the larger stories by providing people with a kind of autonomous way to explore.
He, Jiaai, "Contextualize" (2020). Masters Theses. 533.
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