The Museum of the 21st Century
Content – Form – Image

2015 - 2017

This interdisciplinary project focuses on the role of the museum and cultural spaces in the globalised and digital age in view of current sociopolitical and cultural debates and opens the dialogue to experts, architects, artists, curators, collectors, urban planners and the public.

The last thirty years have seen an unparalleled rise of new museum buildings all over the world with many more being planned right now. Next to their important role of conservation/presentation/discussion of cultural values and acting as local social centres for education and citizenship, museums are enlarging their impact from national to global impact. In turn, the value of culture itself is in need of a clarifying debate: Who and what defines the content, shape and impact of museums and on what purpose? What does it mean for the future?

A bubbling global art market, accompanied by diminishing public support for cultural institutions creates a much-debated rise in public-private partnerships and growing influence of private maecenes in the cultural scene. Well-funded large museums in the Western world, the MENA region, Asia, Africa and the Americas reflect an increasing need for the representation of their respective cultural identities.

While the traditional museum functions of representation and education still prevail today, the 21st century’s global, digital and demographic challenges have added more roles for the museum: Globalisation and digitalisation have left their marks on reception habits, fostering a service-oriented profile with more consumerist and entertaining aspects (‘edu-tainment’). There is a new focus on the role of the museum as one of cultural “storytelling” and situating that story in a context of physical place.

ANCB continuously questions in its programmes the accessibility of knowledge and the mutual influence between cultural and curatorial practice on the one hand – and space generation and design practice on the other hand – as well as their impact on the surrounding urban scape. From this perspective we have to ask: How is the concept of a ‘museum’ perceived and adapted in diverse cultures? How is the world dealing with respective other cultures and their artefacts?

“The Museum of the 21st Century” works like a lens that focalizes crucial questions: How is our local and national identity defined, now and for the future? And how does the museum work within the context of its local environment, its adjacent buildings, the city?

This project sets forth to investigate the cultural, economic and sociopolitical contexts of new museums around three focal points: Content – Form – Impact, in order to create tools for both analysing and envisioning the museum of the future in sync with its direct environment and in view of local and global cultural discourses.

In preparation. To be announced shortly.

Australia Now Germany 2017. MUSEUM AS ACTIVATOR: Strategies for Public Space and Access
Symposium: 14 and 15 September 2017
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Video Recording

Space on Demand
Conversation with Elizabeth Diller, Director, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York and Chris Dercon, Director, Volksbühne Berlin
8 September 2017
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Museums: art, culture, spectacle, access
University Design Studio: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
2 - 15 September 2017
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Constructing Culture. Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District
Public Debate: 26 May 2017
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Video Recording

Museums and Cultural Spaces as Motor of Urban and Social Progress
at the Venice Architecture Biennale in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Moscow
Public Debate: 24 September 2016
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Video Recording

Zai Xing Tu-Mu. Sixteen Chinese Museums. Fifteen Chinese Architects
Exhibition Talk: 26 August 2016
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Museum Revisited
Podium Discussion: 8 July 2016
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Video Recording

Marte. Marte
Exhibition Talk: 11 December 2015
On the occasion of the exhibition opening Stefan Marte talked about Marte.Marte's new museum buildings in Berlin and Krems.
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Das Kulturforum. Baukultur ohne Verfahrenskultur?
Public Debate: 25 September 2015
A conversation between architect and urban planner Volkwin Marg and architecture critic and museum historian Nikolaus Bernau on the competition for Berlin's new Museum der Moderne and its implications on the urban landscape and architecural ensemble of the Kulturforum.
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Video Recording

Future Urbanscape: Berlin's Kulturforum
Univeristy Design Studios: Summer 2015 - Spring 2016
ANCB, in collaboration with its Architecture Schools in Residence, has instigated a broader urban and architecture discourse on the Kulturforum in Berlin: the planned location for a new ‘Museum der Moderne’.
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Part of the ANCB Theme:
No Space without Traits

Concept Paper:
download PDF

Miriam Mlecek,


ANCB Partners 2018

© ANCB, Berlin