Museums and Cultural Spaces as Motor of Urban and Social Progress

23 September 2016

An accompanying event to the exhibition «V.D.N.H. URBAN PHENOMENON» in the Russian Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale will be held in Venice 2016 at September 24, 2016, Teatro Piccolo Arsenale.

On occasion of the exhibition «V.D.N.H. URBAN PHENOMENON» in the Russian pavilion during this year’s 15th International Architecture Biennial in Venice, the symposium critically reflects upon the role museums and cultural spaces play today as motors of progress within the socio-political and cultural landscape of the contemporary city. It sets forth to discuss the role, tasks and aims of museums and cultural spaces now and in the future against the backdrop of the 21st century’s global, digital and demographic challenges.

Together with international experts, architects, curators, urban planners and policy makers the symposium encourages the discussion of museums and cultural spaces as integral partners in fostering dynamics of modern society and urban change.

The symposium is divided in two interconnecting thematic clusters that invite for reciprocal exchange as they remain essentially open to actively foster the dialogue of ideas.

I. Cultural Space as Urban Activator

The transformational power of museums and cultural spaces, within the urban realm.

The last thirty years have seen an unparalleled rise of new museum buildings and cultural spaces all over the world with many more to come. Next to their purpose of cultural education these spaces are increasingly understood as powerful instruments and activators of urban development that are capable of infusing even the most neglected areas with new social, cultural and economic possibilities. As agents of urban change and magnets for urban growth they play an essential part in the constitution of the contemporary city.

II. New Expectations towards Cultural Space

Museums and cultural spaces as discourse platforms of contemporary reality.

Today, it has become necessary for museums and cultural spaces to redefine their mission, their goals, their functions and their strategies to reflect the expectations of a changing world. Museums and cultural spaces must generate new types of dialogue in an increasingly globalized world. To create, capture and share knowledge and engage audiences, dynamic and imaginative ways have to be invented that bring meaning and to our fragmented and diverse 21st century cultural and community life.



Publications on the topic


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