COLLECTIVE, an international multidisciplinary architecture firm, presents the extensive shanghai project curated by hans ulrich obrist and dr. yongwoo lee at the shanghai himalayas museum in china. the project proposes a new type of museum experience through the sequencing of the artworks and, an immersive exhibition design that offers new contextual narratives. the role of the museum is expanded from its traditional model of static displays towards an evolved interactive and open space for public discussions and workshops.

the shanghai project is a public forum, at the core of the space, and is designed as a non-ticketed gathering place for all



COLLECTIVE‘s project offers new points of contact between spheres of interdisciplinary knowledge, and are organized through three zones; field, sequence, and rooms. 



field — a 16-meter tall atrium forming a public forum at the centre of the exhibition, acts as a centralized connective component for the exhibition and hosts spaces that act as a gallery, archive, cafe, and workshop. a 360-degree seating area allows audiences to engage with the events in all directions. an angled reflective surface mirror, 26m W meters x 11m H, is anchored to the ceiling to frame and reflect the liveliness of the space. additionally, a diagonal black asphalt floor surface transverses the room, physically tying together the different artworks. for yoko ono’s “we’re all water”, the studio designed the enclosure of the sound installation, aiming to provide a geometric presence as well as concentrate and intensify the audio experience without it spilling away into the open atrium.

with the vast amount of content generated by researchers through the course of a year, the creators hope to find new synergies that enable the flow of information from one discipline to another



sequence — accessed via the core of the forum, the sequence forms a pathway on the periphery, linking together a succession of light and darkness for works relating to the topic of extinction. for olafur eliasson and frederik ottesen’s piece “little sun”, the studio designed the interface for the work, letting the audience encounter a luminous grid on the ground. for gustav metzger’s installation “extremes touch: dancing tubes, mica cube, drop on hotplate, untitled”, the studio planned a spatial layout that generates interactions between the works, switching them on and off alternately as the flow of visitors comes through.

an overview of the exhibition experience



rooms — hosted on the upper level of the museum while offering views down to the forum and the sequence, COLLECTIVE worked closely with the curators in determining an order through various rooms that facilitates the juxtaposition and creation of new narratives between installations and workshops. for liu chuang’s ‘#14’, the studio designed the immersive viewing enclosures for the video installations with a translucent material.

the 360 degree seating area

the design encourages discussion among professionals and researchers

a diagonal black asphalt floor surface transverses the room, physically tying together the different artworks

yoko ono’s ‘we’re all water’

‘little sun’ by olafur eliasson and frederik ottesen

‘extremes touch: dancing tubes, mica cube, drop on hotplate, untitled’ by gustav metzger

‘#14’ by liu chang



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynn chaya | designboom

  • Very nice artwork, great exhibition. But, the concept and way of display looks like an oma 2000’s project, but a weaker and less exciting version. a pity.

    archidose says:

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