Symposium Multisensory museum - opening multisensory museum space

event

Symposium Multisensory museum opening multisensory museum space

28/02/2019
11:00 - 17:00

What would the museum look like if it had been designed from all senses? Would it change our perception on art? How can we make inclusive and more accesible spaces? What can we learn from the expertise of people with disabilities in understanding spaces?  

FEEL THE MUSEUM
In 2016 the Van Abbemuseum started to research, rethink and redesign the museumspace from a multisensory and inclusive perspective, together with architects Peter-Willem Vermeersch andTomas Dirrix, KU Leuven and in co-design with experiential experts with a visual, auditory or mobile disability. 

OPENING SYMPOSIUM
On Thursday 28 February we will open the experimental multisensory museum space in the Van Abbemuseum and present the results of the research in a sensory stimulating opening symposium. The symposium will be in English.

SPEAKERS 

  • Architects Peter-Willem Vermeersch en Tomas Dirrix | 'A multi-sensory design appoach in architecture'.

    Peter-Willem Vermeersch works as postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven at the Research[x]Design group, and as engineer-architect at (Full) Scale Architecten in Leuven. He holds a PhD degree in Engineering: Architecture from KU Leuven. His research focuses on how the lived experience of disabled people can inform architectural design practice.

    Tomas Dirrix is based in Rotterdam with his architectural practice Atelier Tomas Dirrix and works with the cultural and material notions of building. He seeks to create organisation principles, relationships and processes as a basis for a possible new, and sensible architecture. He graduated with honours as Masters in Architecture from the TUDelft. Previously he studied in Mendrisio, Switzerland and Ahmedabad, India.

  • Architect Carlos Mourão from Lisbon became blind and specialized in multisensory projects.

    'Museums in Invisibility: Towards inclusive and multisensory spaces'.
    The quality of invisibility in museum spaces is presented, involving architecture and exhibition design. Museums are places of advanced cultural interpretation, where inclusivity is a premise in a democratic society. However, paradoxically, often buildings’ and exhibitions’ designs promote people’s exclusion by absence of thinking in other sensory modalities beyond vision. All users are subjected to permanent or temporary absences of sight, as momentary lacks of visual attention. Therefore, if the quality of invisibility is considered, i.e., the integration of non-visual modalities, it will be possible to guarantee safety and multisensory spatial stimulus for blind, partially sighted and fully sighted people.

  • Designer Simon Dogger (1977) lost his sight while studying design, resumed to his study and in 2017 he graduated the Design Academy in Eindhoven. He won the René Smeets Award and iF Design Award. As a designer he is working on promoting equality, connecting and innovation.

    'Independent access: are innovations the key?'
    Our society needs social awareness and prosperity to become inclusive. In this process, innovations can play a big supplementary part. Together with the Van Abbe, we want to make the museum accessible to all its users. In 2019 we are developing the Tik-Tik Museum. Tik-Tik is an indoor navigation app. It offers everyone independent access to public buildings. A smartphone app can recognize its surroundings and help you get to your destination. You can use the smartphone as a dowsing rod so that you can, without sight, walk freely through the museum. This is a big step in the emancipation of the 317.000 people with visual impairments in the Netherlands. Because of this app, they will be able to visit the places like museums, stations, airports and municipalities independently.

  • Art- and senses historian Caro Verbeek and fragrance expert Jorg Hempenius.
    Caro Verbeek (1980) is an art historian and a curator with a focus on the lower senses. She teaches the preliminary course ‘The Other Senses’ at the Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague) and is specialised in olfactory tours for museums. Her books and articles include “Inhaling Memories” (Senses & Society, 2013), “Something in the Air - Scent in Art” (Villa Rot, 2015). She worked on fragrances in the collection presentation of the Van abbemuseum. She is currently working on her PhD on art historical smells at VU University, with IFF (International Flavours & Fragrances) and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

    Jorg Hempenius has 15 years of experience in the fragrance industry. He was first triggered by the impact of scent during his work as a coach for mentally challenged children. Creating soaps and other scented products with them he realised the enormous advantages of working with the sense of smell. 

    'Inhaling Art - Scent as a Tool to Enhance the Museum Experience'.
    Museums - especially of modern and contemporary art - are notably clean and odourless, except perhaps for layers of (white) paint. But this hasn't always been the case. Artists, such as the Surrealists, started to experiment with the sense of smell within art institutions in order to engage with their audience in a more direct, yet unexpected way. Nowadays, more and more museums seem to embrace a multi sensory approach to their collection. How can we use smell as a medium in the realm of museums and visual art? What can we learn from our predecessors? Hear about it, but most of all smell it during this lecture on the use of scent in art museums in general, and at the Van Abbemuseum in particular. 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:
The Multi Sensory Museum research project was made possible by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, projectmanager and curator Marleen Hartjes and in co-design with Amber van Ginneken, Pia Hendriks, Johan Nefkens, Barbara Strating, Judith Schuitvlot, Jaap Breider, Frank Ter Beek, Jeroen van Dijk, Rieky Verwimp.

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Ticket

Thursday 28 february, 11:00 - 17:00 uur 
€15,- including lunch. Limited spaces available. Click this link to make a reservation.


PROGRAM Thursday 28 February

10.00 | Entrance via museumcafé. Welcome with coffee and tea.
11.00 | start program in auditorium
13.00 | lunch inspired by artwork by Karel1 museumcafé 
14.00 | program part 2
15.00 | coffee break with edible artwork by Pinkie Patisserie
15.30 | program part 3
16.30 | drinks in museumcafé
17.30 | end

CONTEXT
The Multisensory Museum is an important step in the developments towards an inclusive museum that the Van Abbemuseum started in 2014 with the Special Guests program. With this program we wanted to make the museum accessible to visitors with a visual, auditory, mobile or mental disability. O.a. together with blind and visually impaired visitors, special multi-sensory tours and tools were developed. In 2016 we made an exhibition with blind and visually impaired artists where these artists provided the guided tours themselves, we launched the annual RAAK Stimuleringsprijs in collaboration with the Oogfonds and Dedicon to encourage other museums to make their collections more accessible for people with a visual handicap, and we shared our knowledge and experience worldwide with other museums through training, advice and presentations. Together with KULeuven, two architects and experiential experts, we started a re-design the multi-sensory museum in 2016. In doing so, we examined the possibility of not only making our programs and mediation more accessible and inclusive, but unlocked a new approach in understanding our museum building from a sensory perspective and learn from the expertise of people with disabilities.

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