In The Transformative Museum we claim a museum that fully dedicates the communicative resources of the museographic language to a specifically educational purpose, in order to establish itself as a fundamental and decisive training resource available to citizens.
1. The Transformative Museum identifies the «exhibition» as its nuclear and differential communicative asset.
In this sense, it considers that the exhibition is the product of a characteristic and particular language: the museographic language:
• The museographic language is a different language, autonomous and independent of other languages and has its own endemic communicative resources based on the tangible object and phenomenon. This avoids confusing a true exhibition (as a natural product of museographic language), with a more or less interesting kind of «collage» of products from other languages located in a hall, as a result of a project in which museology has been confused with interior design, and creativity with mere occurrences. It is accepted, therefore, that the contents of an exhibition will require an explicit translation into museographic language, which constitutes a prior and essential phase to the design or production phases.
• The museographic language is the fundamental basis of a Transformative Museum. The activities carried out in the museum must take this into account so as not to fall into the trap of becoming disseminative but not museum-oriented, which may be a better object of other types of establishments with a more local scope, such as civic or cultural centers. It is accepted, therefore, that deepening the development of its own museographic language, already absorbs enough resources of a museum.
Through the use of museographic language, the Transformative Museum makes sure that it is offering a different way of communicating that is not redundant of what other languages can offer, so that the story that the museum communicates forms a true singular intellectual experience: the museographic experience.
2. The Transformative Museum fully assumes an educational and transcendent social function for its community…
…because knowledge and the stimulation of knowledge in the framework of an exhibition are produced in the context of the museographic experience. It is a personal intellectual construction but also shared with fellow visitors, with conversation as a process and product of this communication phenomenon. All this must take place in a calm context that offers the appropriate rhythms and environments to favor a transformative training experience, which understands learning not as a process of data transmission, but as the shared creation of stimuli for the search, acquisition and generation of knowledge.. In this sense, the Transformative Museum is a museum that works with other educational-cultural institutions and especially with the school and not for it, since the museum and the school have different but complementary educational channels. The Transformative Museum, all of it, is a fully and profoundly educational entity in all its facets.
3. The Transformative Museum plans strategically.
Strategic action is considered a more important activity than executive action, despite the fact that there is a strong general inclination to develop the latter much more, sometimes to the detriment of the former. Thus, the Transformative Museum has regular and stable strategic management mechanisms (in addition to executive management mechanisms); that are perfectly aligned with the objectives and mission of the museum. The Transformative Museum prepareslong-term strategic plans while working daily on their development and implementation. These strategic management mechanisms frame the museum R&D&i work and the evaluation of the museum’s social impact, and ensure a steady evolution of the museum and rule out the practice of having to undertake extensive and drastic revisions from time to time.
4. The Transformative Museum systematically evaluates its social impact.
The Transformative intention of the museum is embodied in well-defined and achievable objectives related to its intended educational impact, which are systematically evaluated to know if they are achieved or not, considering this museum evaluation work as a part necessarily linked to strategic planning. Thus, indicators usually measured in museums such as the number of visitors (which weights the extent to which the museum attracts) or the satisfaction of the visit (which weights the extent to which the museum is liked), are necessary but not sufficient. For a Transformative Museum, the evaluative action aspires to know to what extent it transforms, since it is committed to the systematic search for excellence. It rejects adamism, dilettancy, reductionism or self-indulgence, and embraces a solid knowledge of the profession, experience, high mindedness and self-criticism. The Transformative Museum is not interested in showy occurrences in the rooms, but in meditated museographic solutions and, above all, effective communicational and educationally.
5. The Transformative Museum is a transversal and eclectic museum…
… because it allows for mixed readings that incorporate all disciplines, recognizing knowledge as a universal continuum that cannot be parceled out, despite the administrative requirements of curricula. In this sense, based on a particular topic, it establishes an intimate and permanent dialogue between equals with other disciplines that goes beyond concepts such as multi, inter or transdisciplinarity.
6. The Transformative Museum is an inclusive museum…
… which aspires to show true cultural leadership in its community, incorporating everyone, and to this end fosters a strong social commitment based on total transparency in its management. It allows all citizens participate in each of the elements of its management and social action and is also committed to always maintaining a gender perspective. The Transformative Museum does not practice marketing that seeks to adapt to its audiences in order to please them, but instead exercises leadership that seduces in order to transform. In this way, the Transformative Museum aspires to be much more seductive than fun for its beneficiaries, since it is much more interested in putting the museum in people than people in the museum..
7. The Transformative Museum is a museum with a professional team that is as enthusiastic and cohesive as it is properly trained…
…because it aspires to have a new generation of professionals in its technical and managerial staff, finally explicitly trained in the various specific skills of the museum sector. Professionals who understand the contemporary museum as a means of communication in all its aspects: from the development of museographic language, education in museums, museum management and administration or strategic planning; to more specific aspects such as research and the history of science, art, archaeology, etc. and the history of museums, material and immaterial culture, the relationship between different topics and society, or the role of new technologies in museums.
8. The Transformative Museum is a museum that systematically investigates the communicative and possibilities of intellectual stimulation in the museographic language and their educational applications (museum R&D&i).
… in order to develop its service as far as its resources allow, thus considering it as the autonomous and full-fledged language that it is. In this sense, the Transformative Museum will naturally develop and use new technologies that are related to the museographic language, not new technologies belonging to other languages (which can, however, play an auxiliary role in the field of the exhibition, especially those from the digital audiovisual world).
9. The Transformative museum claims the term «museum» as a word that can recover its full original meaning…
… referred to an environment that has a singular language (the museographic language) and that is dedicated to intellectual inspiration, avoiding relegating this extraordinarily expressive word (museum) only to describe spaces that exhibit a collection, and thus overcoming a certain wear that the meaning of this brilliant term has undoubtedly suffered over time. It is possible to move towards a pan-museum model that makes it unnecessary to qualify museums with different qualifiers (science museum, art museum, history museum…). The contemporary museum can be understood, in this way, as a unique space dedicated to knowledge in a global sense, and that makes use of the museographic language with unequivocal educational purposes. In the case of certain types of contemporary museums, this approach would make it possible to review some differentiations that have been established in recent years and that are de facto non-existent because, ultimately, they respond rigorously to the basic concept of a museum, such as interpretation centers, sensory spaces, children museums, science centers…
January 21, 2020.
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Mònica Àlvarez, Javier Armentia, Miriam Atienza, Enrique Baquedano, Margarita Belinchón, Elena Boadas, Montse Boher, Imma Boj, Carmina Borbonet, Eusebi Casanelles, Ana Carro, Xevi Collell, Ana Correas, Macarena Cuenca, Àngela Cuenca, Albert Diaz, Victoria Díaz, Domingo Escutia, Pere Equisoain, Maria Feliu, Susana Funes, Xosé Anton Fraga, María Pilar G. Cuetos, Myriam G. Sanz, Manuel Gándara, Andrea Granell, Santiago Grau, Jenaro Guisasola, Andrés Gutiérrez Usillos, Francisca Hernández, Iñaki Izarzugaza, Dani Jiménez, Raquel Jiménez, María José Rivas, Vanessa Lanas, Pilar López García-Gallo, Claudi Mans, José María Cuenca, Carolina Martín, Mireia Mayolas, Oscar Menéndez, Artur Moreno, Maite Morentín, Massimo Negri, Anna Omedes, Maria Carmen Perea, Leticia P. Castellanos, Ernesto Páramo, Leticia Pardo, Maribel Parra, Neus Pavón, Jesús Pedro Lorente, Lluc Pejó, Eloísa Pérez Santos, Marta Soler, Paco Pérez Valencia, Carme Prats, Guido Ramellini, Gerard Ramon, Carmen Sánchez Mora, Alejandro Sarmiento, Jordi Serrallonga, Mónica Solanas, Marisa Suárez, Joan Vicens
Here you can read the impressions that some of these people have sent us.