CMoA HALL OF ARCHITECTURE
The Hall of Architecture is one of the Carnegie Museum of Art's oldest exhibits and a wonderful asset to their collection. Based on it's location and nature of the casts, the museum was seeking the help of the Carnegie Mellon School of Design to improve the public's understanding of this exhibit and it's true value. Our challenge was to propose new ways to engage visitors in a meaningful and enjoyable experience that would enhance the Hall of Architecture while maintaining it's integrity.
Divided into teams of 3 or 4, we spent a semester researching and iterating concepts for the improved Hall of Architecture exhibit. The main problems my group wanted to address were:
1. The overwhelming abundance of casts (over 140 casts covering 3,500 years
2. The lack of context behind casts (only the year and location is currently provided with no reference to what the original architectural piece looks like)
3. An environment that does not encourage curiosity
Our group decided to focus our topic on the issue that seemed the most critical: finding a balance between emphasizing the value of the casts themselves versus the value of the original architectural works.
Today, museum visitors who come to the Hall of Architecture do not see the true value of the casts. To them, the casts are just duplicates and not as impressive as the originals. The true value of the casts, in fact, is that they have the opportunity to outlive the original works. Some currently do not exist due to natural disasters, and others are quickly deteriorating from erosion and pollution. These casts are a preservation of that history—not just of the 100 years they have been here, but the 3,500 years of history depicted in them.
These casts serve as a portal to the past. They are a connection to the original architectural works. They are a way to connect the people of the future to the people of the past.
The Hall of Architecture is a Time Capsule.