Museums and Theme-Parks - A Complex Interaction

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This presentation has been prepared for a capacity building workshop organized by UNESCO for museum professionals in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in June 2008

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Museums and Theme-Parks - A Complex Interaction

  1. 1. “ Edutainment and Merchandising” Tashkent, Uzbekistan Alessandro Califano Museums and Theme-Parks – A Complex Interaction A Presentation June 12th, 2008
  2. 2. “ Edutainment and Merchandising” Museums And Theme-Parks – Museums As Theme-Parks Alessandro Califano UNESCO Training " In Quest for Excellence: Museums Between Local and Global Presence " June 12 – 13, 2008 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  3. 3. Museums in an Evolving Setting <ul><li>Edutainment and merchandising: We may like it, or not… but we cannot change it! </li></ul><ul><li>Theme-parks, Malls, Concept Stores and Museums: where borders fade away </li></ul><ul><li>Let us examine them more in depth </li></ul>
  4. 4. Theme-Parks: an archetypal form <ul><li>Theme-parks are but a specialized form of park </li></ul><ul><li>Parks, in turns, belong to the archetypal form of “nature under human control”: be it Eden’s Garden, a Renaissance park, a Mogul garden or, simply, a well ordered oasis. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Shopping Malls <ul><li>There is much derived from variety theatres in shopping malls: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They have something in store for everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They do not only sell merchandize, but create its setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They renovate, reinterpret or create a part of town anew, as on a theatre’s stage </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Concept Stores 1/3 <ul><li>A brand gets its best interpretation in concept stores, where it can be shown in any setting and style. </li></ul><ul><li>Sephora concept stores blend minimalism, New Age, and Japanese art together in a unique mixture. </li></ul><ul><li>A too monothematic approach ( Nike Town , for instance, all dedicated to sports) could however reduce visitors’ interest </li></ul>
  7. 7. Concept Stores 2/3 <ul><li>Entertainment café chains are similar (Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, Starbucks or Rainforest Café) </li></ul><ul><li>The Rainforest Café chain even organizes guided tours for school classes, on ecological and conservation issues… as in a Science Museum </li></ul>
  8. 8. Concept Stores 3/3 <ul><li>The same trend exists in “theme” hotels: they do not sell you an overnight stay… but an emotion! </li></ul><ul><li>The use of artefacts (there are REAL Van Goghs, C é zannes, and Pollocks in the 3000 rooms of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas – a place inspired by an Italian village, in city itself all a “theme”) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Museums, theme-parks, and shopping <ul><li>Shopping hints to museums, and it hints as well to theme-parks </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment, education, leisure-time, communication, media and sports are being blended together </li></ul>
  10. 10. Are Museums shopping malls? 1/2 <ul><li>Many new museums favour brand definition, circulation of artefacts, and merchandising… a long way from the old “Do Not Touch!” signs </li></ul><ul><li>Among these are Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum, the new Guggenheim by Gehry in Bilbao, or Meier’s Getty Center in Los Angeles </li></ul>
  11. 11. Are Museums shopping malls? 2/2 <ul><li>There is some space for organizing new activities. Museums can: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offer consultancy services to interior designers (concept stores, theme-hotels, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circulate an chosen set of their artefacts to subsidiary locations, and even lent them to public or private spaces (France) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Urban Theme-parks <ul><li>Organization of urban space is often widely managed by large multinational companies </li></ul><ul><li>Their commercial approach is mostly to organize educational initiatives, linking them to a merchandising strategy (for instance: Disney Club ) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Virtual Reality in theme-parks <ul><li>The visitor is the player in edutainment, even more so with virtual reality </li></ul><ul><li>This is true in theme-parks (Jurassic Park at L.A.’s Universal Studios, or the Tokyo Dome) </li></ul><ul><li>… and in museums as well! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Theme-parks and Museums: How-tos 1/3 <ul><li>Be it a theme-park, be it a concept store, or a museum there will be: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A thematic definition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A triple mission </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Five organizational criteria </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Theme-parks and Museums: How-tos 2/3 <ul><li>Once the theme has been defined, the mission becomes: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To VISUALIZE the theme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To OFFER A THREAD linking the parts together </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To DEFINE A MEANING for the single events/locations </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Theme-parks and Museums: How-tos 3/3 <ul><li>Important organizational issues are: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To organize space sequentially </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To organize circulation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To properly disseminate merchandising </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To isolate the external area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To favour des-orientation of visitors </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Virtual Worlds – Real Business 1/2 <ul><li>Generally the mechanism works like this: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A gives something for free to B </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>C pays A for letting B know of a product </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A gets paid from B , as well, offering paid services (like tutorials, assistance, upgrades, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Virtual Worlds – Real Business 2/2 <ul><li>Where high personalization is available, advertising requires a new approach. It no longer shout out its message, but: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Invites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be prevalently on-demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be indirect – and favour synergy with other related products/services </li></ul></ul>

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