In 2020, STAM City Museum Ghent celebrated its tenth anniversary and was ready for a refreshing rejuvenation. It was high time for a thorough update of the permanent exhibition.
The ambition was to tell the history of Ghent, a city that is constantly changing, as vividly as possible. It was up to us, together with Kinkorn, to set up a complete experience that would draw the visitor into the story of Ghent from the moment they set foot in the exhibition.
It’s 2020 and Sta.M (City museum of Ghent) celebrates its tenth anniversary! That’s ten years in which the museum has told the history of Ghent and as this awesome city lives, breathes and expands so continues the story of the city. So, 10 years in and it’s high-time for a thorough update of the permanent exhibition! Together with Kinkorn, we came up with the concept for the new set-up and realised the design of the multimedia.
The ambition was to create an appealing set-up for a broad audience that tells how (similar) cities develop on the basis of Ghent’s history; thus unravelling the unique story of one city while drawing comparisons with your own origins as you experience the exhibition. A city is all about building, living and being connected – these are the pillars that you experience within the new story.
As you walk through the halls, you see the city grow and change. You hear Ghent itself speak as its own character. You can feel the wood and stones from which Ghent is built. You discover the life that gives colour to the city. You learn how Ghent was and is connected with the Low Countries, Europe and the world.
The design of the scenography is sober, transparent and leaves room to experience the historical architecture of the building; the space as important as its contents. In airy glass showcases there’s room for the many objects that make the story tangible. For the more curious visitors, our iPad interfaces offer the possibility to view background information and details of the objects.
At the centre of the halls is an interactive digital maquette, where you can see the metamorphosis of Ghent – from prehistoric settlement to the metropolis it is today – on the basis of hand-drawn maps. In animated stories you will hear Ghent’s character tell you about the events that have determined the course of the city and with a number of striking motion infographics we visualise how Ghent has related to other cities over time.
A large interactive wall projection introduces you to entrepreneurial women, rebels in love and selfish benefactors from medieval Ghent. In an empty, impressive Refter room, the visitor is lured in by an animation in the fireplace that tells the history of the building itself.
A playful children’s trail runs through all of the museum. As merchants, craftsmen, architects and city trippers, the young visitors can experience the city. They can sell fabric, decorate façades and map out routes – ensuring that the full spectrum of ages is covered within this interactive, lively and varied exhibition.
All in all; a complete experience of ‘The story of Ghent’ new style.
After more than a year of intensive cooperation, the result can now be admired at Sta.M!