V&A WHATS ON GUIDE 2016
The most interesting and creative assignment I had this semester was for my MA Museums and Galleries course. The assignment was to come up with the V&A What’s On Guide for 2016. During our 5 weeks class sessions at the museum we found out that it takes a lot of organisation, advance planning, extensive research, audience evaluation and editing to create these museum guides.
(Etching of the Poynter Room by John Watkins, c. 1876-81, http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/architectural-history-of-the-v-and-a-1863-1873-fowkes-architectural-master-plan-an-interrupted-vision/)
We had to come up with a theme for our guide and I chose to focus on Architecture. I decided to connect the V&A, being one of the first arts and cultural districts, to up and coming arts and cultural districts such as the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, Saadiyat Island Art and Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, and the Entertainment District in Shanghai.
(West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong)
(Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi)
The What’s On Guide I was designing was for the July-September 2016 issue. I thought the summer issue will allowing me come up with creative outdoor events and take advantage of the new extension, (Phase 2 on Exhibition Road), that the museum will have opened to the public earlier that year. The new extension will offer the public an outdoor space to relax and enjoy, a new café, access to a new gallery, and a space for performances, art and events.
It was surprisingly hard to come up with two events per event area which then had to relevant to the theme of the guide. We were asked to come up with sixteen separate events. The eight event areas were exhibitions, displays, special events, families and young people, Evening events, course and workshops, demonstrations, tours and talks. We were told to be innovative with creating our events. My friend said she was going to have a famous chef to come in and give a cooking course to visitors and have someone from the Royal family to come in as a guest speaker. I decided my guide will have Australian Architect Michael Lynch and English Architect Sir Norman Foster to come and give a talk on the emergence and impact of creative towns.
Despite the stress from having the freedom to come up with sixteen imaginative and quite realistic museum events I actually enjoyed coming up with event ideas. I confess, I actually want to go to a few of my none-existent V&A events, especially the Friday Late event. The event consists a night of music, food, beverages and spontaneous dance performances around the museum. My embarrassing confession is that this event was inspired from a scene from one of the most terrible dance movies ever to be released ‘Step Up 4 – Revolution’. In the movie the “MOB” organises a flash mob dance performance at a gallery event. In this scene the dancers emerge from the art spontaneously and begin to perform and amaze the audiences. Out of the whole movie that was the best scene, I personally recommend you to not watch the movie but to just watch the art gallery flash mob scene on youtube (Link below). Just imagine a series of unexpected dance performances from above and within the interior of the V&A interrupting and entertaining groups of people at a V&A Friday Late.
Watch this scene: Art Gallery Flash Mob scene, Step Up 4
It will be interesting to receive not only my teachers feedback to our creative writing assignment but also the feedback from the V&A museum staff.
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