Opened in 2011, and housed in a former glass factory, the Shanghai Museum of Glass reveals a world of glass to the visitor; from the history of the material, to glass in our daily lives and artistic interpretations. Taking glass and its limitless potential as a foundation for the museum’s concept and design, we created an experience that connects stories, possibilities and ideas in a way to give rise to new ones.
Visitors enter the 3,500 sqm Shanghai Museum of Glass through a kaleidoscopic entrance, just one of the iconic installations that we created for the museum’s main exhibition space. Interactive in its approach, the museum exhibition incorporates a variety of solutions that engages the senses. From digital displays describing the molecular makeup of the medium, to easy-to-understand graphics, visitors are guided through the history of glass in China.
Younger visitors can discover the many applications of glass through fun installations, whilst in an integrated live workshop, young and old can admire the art of flame working by watching the craftsman at work. The idea of the ‘living’ museum is translated in integrated event spaces in the museum’s main halls, as well as a rich program of museum activities.
But it is the space’s adjoining elements and features that truly bring the Shanghai Museum of Glass to life, and make it into a destination to spend the day. The DIY Creative Workshop offers parents and children the opportunity to work with glass themselves. In the Hot Glass Performance Hall visitors can witness the art of glassblowing. Trendsetting glass design is highlighted in design space ‘Keep it Glassy’. These additional experiences show how the museum mediates outside of its walls, creates an engaging experience and challenges the traditional idea of a museum.
Involved from the very start as art directors, designers and consultants, we collaborated with museum director Zhang Lin to create a cultural destination that goes beyond the traditional showcase. Fulfilling various roles, ranging from the expected – the showcasing of objects – through to the more complex – offering a community space for learning and shared experiences – the museum is globally significant in its approach, and sets a new standard for museums in China.