MoR: (In)conceivable Futures: It’s a museum, Jim, but not as we know it...

Curators of the Future, British Museum (April 2015)

In not too distant future, we may find ourselves developing a different relationship to travel; it is likely that fuel will become more -perhaps even prohibitively- expensive. What does this mean for museums? How could they evolve? And what does it mean for audiences, objects, communities, funders? 

Scenario 1. Museums have chosen to store their original objects somewhere safe.  Each museum has a digital catalogue of the plans to 3-d print any of these stored objects. Audiences visit their local museum and use 3-d printers to make a copy of whichever piece(s) from the collection that they want to see on that particular day. At the end of their visit, audiences can choose for their 3-d printed replica to go on display in the museum, for the printing material to be recycled, or to take the replica home (for a fee). 

Scenario 2. Museum buildings have closed; fuel is expensive and few people were able to travel to visit them. Audiences are now able to access collections online, utilising 3-d wearable experience technologies.

Scenario 3. Museum buildings have closed; fuel is expensive and few people were able to travel to visit them. Museums on wheels –in carts and drawn by horses- travel from town to village sharing original objects and stories of what the world used to be like. 

What are the implications, advantages and disadvantages of the three scenarios? What do they look like when built out of children’s toys and plasticine? How would they work? And which would you choose to work in?


That was fun!

I was really suprised by what we built and how I felt about it.

It made me think about what was important to me.

Surprisingly thought-provoking!

Feedback from participants, British Museum


The Ministry of Remoldability is an ongoing project about how we think, hope and act for the future. It uses lo-fi, playful methods to explore big ideas in participatory settings.


REMOLDABILITISERS Rachel Briscoe, Liz Johnson


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