Museum Next Sydney Wezit Feedback


Museum next Sydney- Some feedback

We were present at the Museum next Sydney and participated… We also were very attentive to what happened and listened carefully to all participants, to give our readers some interesting feedback!

Biotopia, Munich, Michael John Gorman

A place to play?

“Seeing is believing”


People assume play is just for kids – common misconceptions

Not serious? A distraction from “real education”?

If it’s a competitive activity, kids spend less time on it – there was research done on this – and we should keep this in mind: scoring system is not necessarily the best way to do things. Why does play matter?

Play = learning / creativity / subversion.

Homo Ludens, Johan Hulzinga: “Play is […] being apart together”

Some examples:

New curator, brought artists to “mess” with the museum!

Sometimes artists are not invited, but they come anyway…. Part of the protest.


See: Book of museum activism.
Also: “Critical play”, Mary Flanaghan


Project Science Gallery: playful exhibit:

Bringing science to people through cheese – make people smell different kinds of cheese.

Bring people into different spaces for conversation – through play.

Key elements: transdisciplinary approach, open calls, personal mediation, values, dynamic




Gotal: reconfigure  the relationship between humans and other species.

70% of the insects have disappeared in Germany.


Curiosity – Empathy – Agency –

Mandala: behaviours, activities, and processes


We bring people along the journey – through play


  1. Opportunity to be a platform to play!
  2. New rules for ourselves but also for society…
  3. Unleashing play in the museum: open up the staff into opportunity / create satellite places.
  4. Prototype ideas, play with the public, festivals, explore diff themes, bring visitors on the journey. Bring different content – with partners as well.
  5. Play and activism are deeply connected…


We got to present some of our past experience with playful museums at the Museum Next Conference in Sydney: it was a lot of fun!

Have a look here or here to find out more…


What would Maui do?

Experience Developer, Te papa, Jen Craddock, Ralph Upton

Humanity is  inseparable from  nature


“Attract our people to the museum. In a playful and respectful way.”

Maui as a guide through a nature zone – the exhibition opens in 6 weeks. I am Nature.

Some suggestions:

  • Ask questions, engage the audience. What would Maui say? Not the curator, but the character…
  • Interactive “We are Nature” – reveal images of the natural world – play and perform the connection with Nature. Playful approach, empathy, if the audience sees themselves as part of Nature then perhaps they can act differently.
  • Saving the life of birds, but not an experience making them feel guilty.
  • “make it fun”
  • Take the comments and feedback from the audience very much into account.
  • The team likes prototyping – different perspectives on Nature and take any opportunity.

Can playfulness in the outdoors ever go inside?

Anita Stevens, Ruth Lewis, National Trust, Experience Developers

From playing in the rain to playing in the Gallery


1 million objects, works of arts

One of the most significant heritage organizations

Play has an opportunity to be part of an answer in a dynamic experience


What have we learned  from playing outside – school game?  The distinctiveness of the places. Acknowledge what the family audience’s needs are, how it can benefit the groups. 5 paths to nature connection: compassion, emotion, senses, meaning, beauty… Not what we know, but what we do and feel…

Spirit of place: what is unique/distinctive/cherished

Social spaces

+ journey: a vibrant network of ways to go

+ invitations: placing or revealing things in an environment to offer play

+ loose parts: sand, woods


Programme “50 things to do…” inspiration for the volunteers


“50 things to do indoors before you’re 11 3/4”

50 activities in the special places by collection managers – making a list and create some collaborative journey

Museum hack, passionate storytelling, unexpected, tried special things online and they have more booking, specific tours with a member of the team.Tour guide Michelle…

Playful planning = playful output, do it as much as possible!!