RETHINKING THE EXHIBITION EXPERIENCE: WHAT IT SHOULD BE LIKE POST COVID-19

Posted on 06/27/2022 | 4 minutes read

"Post-pandemic, the collective group experience will solidify social cohesion within diverse groups. The power of a group exhibition will gain importance and bring forth small projects that can be designed together. It will also result in group spatial experiences and interaction."

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Since the emergence of the pandemic, exhibitions, and museums have been undergoing a major change; offers and presentations have been digitized successfully and made more accessible. Museums are gradually reopening, and art lovers and cultural artifacts enthusiasts can finally have the in-person visitor experience they have been longing for.


Even so, people have changed. They have developed new distance-based traits and experiences, and corporate exhibitions and museums must respond appropriately to this. Additionally, people have made huge strides in digital competence.


On the one hand, this calls for the transformation of both art and cultural museums. And on the other hand, there are things that will remain the same and are now appreciated more than ever—the aura of originality—the fascinating impact of notable spaces. Art lovers and cultural artifacts enthusiasts will increasingly want to interact with both the museum and each other.


Because of this, curators and designers need to create unique, memorable experiences in real spaces, regardless of whether the spaces are individual or shared. So how can the post-pandemic museum be something new, something other than a diminished version of what it was before? This post will walk you through museum designs and exhibition designs that can enhance the post-pandemic exhibition experience.




ENHANCE THE INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE


The personal visitor journey will be more intense in COVID-compliant spaces. Visitors will make decisions about visiting museums more purposefully. In return, they will expect to be afforded more freedom to attain a long-lasting effect of what is showcased to them and then reflect on the exhibitions individually.


Just like there are different types of visitors, expectations in terms of independence, autonomy, and responsibility will also differ. There are moments when they'll want to stop thinking and be enthralled and enchanted momentarily. Visitor journeys and guidance systems will be much more adaptive to an individual visitor's needs. Visitor experiences will be generated with the help of digital companions, applications, and smart systems.



THINK BEYOND THE EXHIBITION


While a show is a great way of attracting visitors, it is not always the smartest route. You could delve into other things, such as promoting climate and culture through conferences, podcasts, publications, film screenings, and more. In order for the post-pandemic museums and exhibitions to rediscover their own collections, it is essential to imagine new and interlocking forms of programming that extend well past the cultural art exhibitions and the gallery walls. Such programming is usually greener and cheaper.



CREATE GROUP EXPERIENCES


Providing targeted exhibition presentations for small groups will not only awaken the team spirit, but also format a sense of community. These group experience exhibition spaces will pave the way for a shift in perspective and generate new learning experiences for the visitors.


Post-pandemic, the collective group experience will solidify social cohesion within diverse groups. The power of a group exhibition will gain importance and bring forth small projects that can be designed together. It will also result in group spatial experiences and interaction.


Additionally, the new formats for group experiences and conscious storytelling have made it possible to reach new groups of visitors in a targeted manner.



THINK GLOBAL, EXPERIENCE LOCAL


Museums create connectedness and strengthen local roots and provide space for community members to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals. The COVID pandemic has shown that museums cannot solely rely on tourism.


It will be vital to make institutions appealing to the city and region and possibly turn them into places of identification. Virtual and physical homelands will be more connected in this process, thereby allowing intensive and unique experiences on all channels.


The hybrid formats mean that museums can be experienced more intensely both from home and on-site. By revolutionizing the visitor experience, museums and other exhibition arenas can leverage huge potential for the visitors and themselves. They will also improve their contribution to the community.



BUILD LESS; ART CAN HANDLE IT


In the past, most cities got museum buildings that were less hospitable than the art designers had promised to deliver. One way of redesigning a museum post-pandemic is to refit existing structures with no demolitions and minimal intervention. French architects, Lacaton & Vassal, proved that art doesn't need pristine spaces, but rather it needs spaces that work—their unique design won the 2021 Pritzker Prize.



ALLOW YOUR AUDIENCE TO CO-CREATE


After the pandemic comes to an end, it will be more essential to establish museums as safe environments yet lively places. The spaces will be used for communal purposes. Not only will the visitors be active in their actions, but the museum staff will also become lively companions and impulse generators. The link between the physical and virtual exhibition experiences will enrich the visitors' experience.


Visitors will also become co-creators. They will make the museum or exhibition space their own. They will be able to grow in these spaces in the sense of lifelong learning. More than ever, museums will recognize the value of user-generated content.



REDEFINING OF THE CHANNEL


As globalization diminishes, digitization is compensating for the loss of accessibility. Physical channels were blocked during the pandemic period and will recover at a slow pace. Nonetheless, the incorporation of digital options in exhibit design will make art and cultural artifacts available to everyone across the world in their need for entertainment.


Given that this industry is experiencing an income fall from physical visits, digitization offers a greater opportunity than ever before for museums and galleries to reach new audiences. Digital design processes will serve digital products, opening new doors that didn't exist in the pre-pandemic context.



BOTTOM LINE


Museums have an invaluable advantage over other communication channels: they are visited consciously, with a purpose, and visitors willingly entrust museums with their interest, time, and attention. Participation, dialogue, interaction, and a guest's desire to understand and appreciate art and cultural artifacts are the power of museums—it helps them forge strong relationships with the visitors.


Nonetheless, the pandemic disrupted such visitor experiences and will continue to affect them for the foreseeable future. To continue providing visitors with the ultimate exhibition experience, curators and designers should include these in their exhibition design:


  • Include digital equipment in their museum curation


  • Enhance both group and individual experiences


  • Include the input of the audience in their design


  • Think global, experience local



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ABOUT ARC & CO. DESIGN COLLECTIVE


Arc & Co. Design Collective transforms your brand messages into engaging physical brand experiences that increase your brand's perceived value and loyalty with your customers. By utilizing our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™, we strategize, conceptualize, innovate and design experiential packaging and brand activation spaces that will complement your business and keep you ahead of the competition.


Get in touch with us to discover how we can assist in integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing strategy.

TL ; DR NOTES

To continue providing visitors with the ultimate exhibition experience, curators and designers should include these in their exhibition design:


Include digital equipment in their museum curation



Enhance both group and individual experiences



Include the input of the audience in their design



Think global, experience local

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