Historically, museums are built by individuals around a private collection. Later, in the 18th and 19th century, museums became institutions. Although they were governed by a group of people, the audience still had little say in what was put on display (and how, and where).
In the last century, museums became interactive and especially in the last decades were focused more on the audience and less on the need to exhibit. Only recently, however, museums discovered you can let the audience have a say in the contents of a museum. (I love this example on Flickr.)
You can’t build the world’s most innovative museum alone. In fact, co-creation is one of our main focuses. We want to have a structure that enables our audience to participate in everything the museum does. We want to engage them, not only in our exhibitions and projects but also in our organization itself.
Last week was marked by the launch of one of our campaigns (a user-generated Portrait Gallery) and at least two profound discussions on co-creation and the future of museums (Dutch link). These were inspirational and surely taught us useful things; nevertheless, they made me wonder: Just how much co-creation is OK for a museum?
I’m curious which examples of co-creation processes for museums exist and what types of co-creation have occurred. I’m looking for good and bad examples of co-creation, on all levels (from exhibitions to communication strategies, etc.).So far, co-creation in contents, concept and organization had brought us many good things. I do realize however that it might put us in a vulnerable position. What are your thoughts?