Museums as lifestyle destinations

For a recent project in Singapore, we looked at how to introduce a museum concept in Sentosa that would be fun and exciting whilst showcasing Singapore’s values to the world: a place where visitors could experience Singapore’s culture & heritage.

Our vision was that a form of cultural entertainment would belong to the Sentosa of tomorrow, one that fosters creativity and a more connected Singapore.

We were inspired by the recent changes in the culture and heritage environment in Singapore (museums, art galleries, theatres) as well as the strong push for lifestyle tourism by the government. We imagined a place that would be a lifestyle destination where the museum is the start of a much more engaging experience.

Focus groups conducted by Ipsos showed that retail and dining where of prime importance for Asian tourists so they had to be fully integrated in the overall concept. Also we realized local Singaporeans showed a strong need for edutainment and community activities.

The solutions we proposed were:

  • A retail concept with thematic corners for the different exhibits in the museum, in partnership with renown Singaporean brands
  • A cafe concept where the museum visit would continue in the backstage of the cafe with a ‘hidden’ room accessible to all diners and serving as a teaser for the museum
  • A dedicated space for temporary exhibitions in partnership with other museums/organizations in Singapore to create a link between Sentosa and the main island
  • A program of activities such as children theatre, live music, workshops and a monthly flea market
  • A creative space putting Singapore on the cultural map of Singapore, for example as one of the venues for the various arts and cultural festivals year around

Just today I was reading about Walt Disney Imagineering designing an exhibition for the Autry Museum in Los Angeles and when I looked at their website I saw exactly what I hope our Singapore project will look like one day.

Autry

What I find very interesting is that when you click overview it is not about the various exhibits but about the activities and the life at the museum. Now that’s where I think museums belong, they are lifestyle destinations. What do you think?

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