Spatial Design students propose radical redesigns for the Royal Cornwall Museum
Second-year BA(Hons) Spatial Design students from University College Falmouth have skilfully risen to the challenge set down by the Royal Cornwall Museum to produce a variety of inventive ideas for redesigning the interior and exterior of the museum, with a brief to make it more exciting and accessible to all whilst retaining the history and heart of the museum.
The museum was founded in 1818 for 'the promotion of knowledge in natural history, ethnology and the fine and industrial arts, especially in relation to Cornwall' and during its 190-year-history, generous benefactors have donated an amazing array of objects, broadening the collection so that it covers Egyptology, fine art and world cultures, as well as classical Greek and Roman objects.
The brief for the eight-week project was to redesign the museum so that it was more user-friendly and attractive for young and old to visit and feel that the museum reflected a Cornwall that they recognised and related to. The students worked with several 'non-user' groups to ensure a cross-section of views were taken into consideration.
"This was a great project for the students to engage with real clients and to work to a tight deadline," said Andrew Harbert, Joint Course Leader of BA(Hons) Spatial Design: Interior and Landscape. "The students have considered Cornwall's past to inform their ideas for the future of what the museum could be through undertaking in-depth analysis and research, and using this information to form their innovative and radical designs."
There are nine designs on display at the museum which were selected by Louise McDermott, the museum's Interpretation and Community Officer. "The designs have already provoked debate both within the museum as well as by the public who have been voting for their favourites. Working with the students has really opened our eyes to the possibilities, encouraging us to think outside the museum 'box' in which we currently work. This is a great start to the process of developing ideas and consulting with the public about what they want from their museum and how they want it."
The designs are on display until 1st May so that everyone in Cornwall has the opportunity to visit the museum and vote on their favourite. Designs range from the museum being seen as the Theatre of Cornwall, using the main entrance hall at ground level to be the 'stage' with natural light highlighting the various displays which tell the story of Cornwall's proud history to a radical approach of 'In with the New' which establishes a spatial dialogue between the encased contemporary exhibits and surrounding historic examples of Cornish culture to entice and guide the visitor on a journey of discovery to find the museum's new contemporary heart.
The exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro's River Street is open to the public from 10am to 4.45pm, Monday to Saturday, until Thursday 1st May. Admission is free.
In April 2008, University College Falmouth merged with Dartington College of Arts to create a new institution focusing on the expansion of Falmouth's expertise in Art, Design and Media and Dartington's expertise in Choreography, Music, Theatre, Art and Writing.
The merger will pave the way for a new specialist Arts University in Cornwall in 2012, creating a Higher Education institution unique to the South West.
University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education, funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.
For further information about BA(Hons) Spatial Design at University College Falmouth, visit www.falmouth.ac.uk/spatialdesign, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Admissions on 01326 213854.
For further information please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs, University College Falmouth on 01326 213792 or email email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University College Falmouth is a partner of the CUC.
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