Tag archive for "Museum Culture"

Interactive Exhibit Philosophy, Museum Visitor

Being Real

No Comments 02 November 2009

by Mark Walhimer
Bangkok, Thailand

From Wikipedia:
“The concept of gross national happiness is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than gross national product.

The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Sigme Wangchuck, who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization, soon after the demise of his father, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for Bhutan’s five-year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country.”

So what.

I get off the plane in Bangkok from Vietnam and I am immediately disappointed, Something is different, why aren’t people smiling? I spent last night and this morning thinking about it, then I rememberthe Happy Planet Index“. So low and behold, Vietnam is number #5 in the world ranking of happiness, while Thailand is #41 (USA is #141). There seems to be no Bangkok left in Bangkok, it is Starbucks and Thailand made plastic. I immediately miss Vietnam, how can this be? A country much wealthier and yet they are not nearly as happy (you can see it on their faces).

So what does this have to do with Museums?

I love the “Experience Economy” philosophy, but stepping off the plane I realize that the experience needs to genuine.  I can feel that this is not a genuine experience and it shows up in the Happy Planet Index and it shows up on the faces of the people.  Too often we try to manufacture an experience without the culture to support the experience and the feeling falls flat.  I know it is a stretch comparing a Museum to Bangkok, but then I consider the path that Bhutan and Costa Rica have taken, they both have made a decision to save their culture, because that is why people visit the country.  Without the culture there is nothing to experience.

Exhibition Costs, Infastructure, Museum Planning

Washing Machine?

No Comments 25 August 2009

Washing Machine?  What does a washing machine have to do with with museum planning?

Most medium to large museums have a laundry facility, why?

  • Washing of uniforms
  • Washing of guest’s clothing
  • Washing of rags

What does this have to do with museum planning?

  • What is your policy on uniforms?  Can staff wear street clothes?  A museum apron? Museum Shirt?
  • Who washes the uniform, the staff? The museum? A service?
  • Where does the washing machine go?  Near a break room so the uniform can be left for washing? Near the loading dock so a service can easily pick up the uniforms?
  • What happens if a young visitor has an accident and their clothes need to be washed?  Will the museum wash the clothes for them?
  • Will your maintenance shop have staff to clean exhibits? or do you use a cleaning service? Who cleans the rags that clean the exhibits?

There are lots of questions with no right or wrong answers, but each answer,  the culture of your institution is formed.


museumplanner.org is run by Mark Walhimer, Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC an exhibition design and museum planning company.

Mark is available for consultations. Feel free to contact him using our contact form.

Download Brochure

© 2014 - Museum Planning, LLC, All Rights Reserved