Lessons from Lisbon

Way back in September, when the sun was shining, and the days lasted slightly longer than the four hours we seem to be getting at the moment, I popped off on my jollies to Lisbon.  Whilst it was definitely a holiday, I can’t switch off when I’m in a museum and probably massively annoyed my boyfriend by taking photos of labels and interactives (and taking forever reading every label in the Beer Museum when he wanted to get to the end for the free drink).  I’ve been meaning to reflect on my experiences for a while, and the final few days of the year sat in a deserted office seems like as good a time as any!

A few general observations:

–          I noticed a general lack of asking visitors for their feedback – I don’t recall seeing a comments book once!

–          Health and Safety is a lot more relaxed than in the UK – we visited a couple of Moorish castles where you could easily be swept off the battlements, with no barriers or even warning signs

–          Art and archives in unexpected places is very cool!  We came across this interesting structure….

Film structureAnd inside you could watch archive films….Film structure 2

–          The Lisbon Story Centre is the funniest use of audio guides I’ve ever experienced! (I’m not 100% sure if this was intentional or not).  They also had some excellent interactive maps, which really helped us to get an overview of the city.

The Institute Effect (2) The Institute Effect (1)Special mention goes to the MUDE (Museu do design e da moda/Design Museum).  It was by far our favourite museum to visit in Lisbon and they had a fantastic exhibition The Institute Effect on their top floor for the Architecture Triennial that was happening city-wide.  The exhibition was a 12 week ‘work in progress’, which would be filled with events and ideas as the exhibition progress.  Each week a different institution would be invited to programme the space.  I loved this idea of transforming a gallery into a truly collaborative and experimental space, and it’s something that I’m itching to try for Play Your Part.   Watch this space for something very exciting happening in the summer…


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