Kossmann.dejong designed the new 2,000 m2 permanent exhibition in the Museum of Communication in Bern (CH) that opened in August 2017. The challenge was to spatially translate the abstract theme of ‘communication’ into a coherent exhibition that invites visitors from all ages to absorb the content in an enjoyable way. Nine key questions, such as ‘Why do I communicate?’, ‘Which skills do I need to communicate?’ and ‘How do I live in a fast-changing world of communication?’, were formulated by an expert team from the museum, and form the starting point of the design concept. Kossmann.dejong clustered these questions into different themes spread across three floors in the building. Visitors are fully immersed into the world of communication: they become aware of their own communication in the interactive communication lab, they experience the influence of big data in a space designed as an abstract data centre and via films, surprising objects and hands-on activities visitors delve into the ongoing communication revolution in which we currently live.
The most powerful interactive tool that Kossmann.dejong created are the real people ‘communicators’: they encourage visitors to communicate with one another. These specially trained museum staff invite visitors to explore the subject of communication in all its facets and, at the same time, apply it in real life. The physical exhibition elements are designed to fully facilitate these human interactions between all ages. Communicators are telling jokes, asking questions and inviting people to play fun, ‘social’ activities in the communication lab, such as solving a puzzle, sharing a meal or acting in a film scene. Although a range of interactive setups make use of high-end media, Kossmann.dejong deliberately chose this human interaction over technology and worked hard in collaboration with the museum to ensure that these communicators make the visit truly unique and special.
After a visionary glimpse into the future, the exciting journey of discovery into the communicating ‘self’ concludes at the deregistration area. Every visitor hangs their profile photo on the huge photo wall here, creating an ever-changing artwork. It forms a visual metaphor of the exhibition’s focus: ‘It’s all about you, but you are not alone’.