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

2015 - 2018


An Enquiry Programme focusing on the role of the museum in the globalised and digital age against the backdrop of current socio-political and cultural debates

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 focalises 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 programme 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.

Conference. Australia Now Germany 2017. MUSEUM AS ACTIVATOR: Strategies for Public Space and Access
with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and the Australian Government
14 and 15 September 2017
Video Recording

Exhibition Talk. Space on Demand with Elizabeth Diller, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York and Chris Dercon, Director, Volksbühne Berlin
8 September 2017

Design Studio. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT): Museums: art, culture, spectacle, access
2 - 15 September 2017

Exhibition Talk. Constructing Culture. Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District
26 May 2017
Video Recording

Symposium in Venice. Museums and Cultural Spaces as Motor of Urban and Social Progress with the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Moscow
24 September 2016
Video Recording

Exhibition. Zai Xing Tu-Mu. Sixteen Chinese Museums. Fifteen Chinese Architects with Zumtobel, Dornbirn
26 August - 13 October 2016

Lab Talk. Museum Revisited with Bauhaus Dessau Foundation
8 July 2016
Video Recording

Exhibition Talk. Marte. Marte: Appearing Sculptural. Museumsbauten in Krems und andere Projekte
11 December 2015

Dialogue. Das Kulturforum. Baukultur ohne Verfahrenskultur? Nikolaus Bernau in conversation with Volkwin Marg
25 September 2015
Video Recording

Collaborative Project. Future Urbanscape: Berlin's Kulturforum with ANCB's Architecture Schools in Residence
2015 - 2017



Concept Paper

Miriam Mlecek,


ANCB Partners 2020

© ANCB, Berlin