Museums Must Stay Relevant
Museums are barometers of social and cultural change. The future role of museums in local and global cultural contexts are being questioned and radically re-shaped. Museums find themselves in a dynamically shifting realm where time–honored methods are becoming outdated and ineffective. To survive and thrive, museums must adapt to meet the needs of their audiences while not losing sight of their missions. Our initial museum stakeholder discussions help identify the challenges specific to each institution and provide a critical framework for moving toward innovative solutions.
Museum audiences are increasing in number, diversity, and in their expectations. The wide availability of in-depth information and media has created a generation of museum visitors that craves sophisticated new experiences and ideas. Museums increasingly face the challenge of maintaining scholarly and professional standards while also being compelling and entertaining enough to compete with their audience’s other numerous leisure time options. During our planning process, audience engagement concepts are vetted and kept in the forefront of discussions.
The globalization of culture and the immediacy of social media and electronic communications have significantly advanced the way museums present their subject matter for their audiences. Evolving exhibition techniques allow adapting museums to present multiple viewpoints and to educate and challenge visitors as never before. In today’s highly interconnected culture, VernerJohnson has led creative design teams that are able to find innovativel ways to further engage museum visitors.
Today’s best museums not only offer unique, social, and meaningful experiences, but are often the new cultural hubs for their communities. Museum leadership staff, boards, and donors increasingly see the potential of architecture as the primary tool for creating landmarks and for marketing the identity of their institution and their geographic area. VernerJohnson is a specialist firm focused on creating iconic, yet affordable, designs appropriate for each client, whether an existing or entirely new cultural institution. By doing so, these institutions become important cultural hubs that add to the quality and richness of their communities.