Experience, interaction, plans and projections in curacy and exhibition design

Over the last decades the relationship between museums and commercial exhibitions has become more and more important and is today offering an even more interesting “device for a broader historical argument”. Both public and commercial institutions, in fact, are actively “involved in the practice of ‘showing and telling’ […], exhibiting artefacts and/or persons in a manner calculated to embody and communicate specific cultural meanings and values”. Storytelling, that always played a key role in curacy , is now becoming crucial to more and more sectors of our society, pervading many disciplines from fashion to product design and redefining the apparently far areas of marketing and business too . At the same time sensorial experience and interaction (not only and not mainly digital) also seem to have been rediscovered and to be the most common ways through which these new stories are told , even if interaction always held a privileged role in curating (at least since the early experiences of the International Avant-Gardes and since the very birth of modern exhibition design) and even if experience “is just as much the rediscovery of time” , at the basis of that “temporal heterotopia” “relative of museums” as Foucault argued.
And if recent commercial applications, mainly in the field of marketing and communication design, seem totally unaware of the existing background and context in the field of curating and exhibition design, yet some of their practical developments and theoretical studies could still provide some interesting case study for art curacy also, following the example of Bennett’s broader analyses.
This research therefore aims to analyze and foster curatorial strategies open to multiple voices and to cross disciplinary approaches for dissemination of knowledge, with a focus on the interactions between art and cultural exhibitions and their audience|visitors according to the latest developments in other fields such as environmental psychology and exhibition design. Moreover and as clarified by Bennett, fairs, commercial exhibitions or department store will also provide useful contemporary case studies. Besides crucial part of the research will be dedicated to the “plans and projections” at the basis of the examined exhibitions (whether conscious or unconscious) and to “the degree to which such plans and projections were successful or were simply not noticed”.

Lorenzo Morganti
Architect and designer, practicing since 2001.
He developed several research projects on product and interior design for Politecnico di Milano, where he has also taught since 2012. He lectured for different Universities and institutions in Milan, Delhi, Tashkent and Beijing, focusing on the newest strategies for fashion stores and fashion boutique hotels.
He developed several design projects for exhibitions around the world (mainly in the fields of design and fashion).