That’s a wrap for the first pop-up of Climate Museum UK! It was a trial run, and all the parts are just prototypes. We made lots of mistakes, found out what was missing, and learned a huge amount from the participants and visitors. We’re very grateful to St Margaret’s House (Bethnal Green, East London) who invited us to pop up in their chapel space on Saturday (12th Jan).
As well as digital projects, advocacy and tours/talks, the main plan is that the Museum will pop-up in different venues, with each installation completely different in response to the space and interests of the partner organisation. We’re developing a kit of loose parts (games, information, books, artefacts, ephemera, creative materials etc) that can be offered for partners to select, adapt, add to, use or replicate. The first stage of any popping-up will be to run a workshop for the workers or supporters. They can explore the ‘loose parts’ and install the museum to suit them. They might then open up to public and use this experience to consult visitors on how they might engage them with climate change, for example. Afterwards, they might decide how to inject more climate engagement into their work, and for example, we can work with them to script a tour, or to commission an artist residency.
For this first trial run we invited interested climate communicators, artists and experience designers (see photos above) to play with and feedback on the loose parts, to install the pop-up, and then to invite visitors and facilitate their experience.
This gives a hint of some of the ‘parts’ – dominoes, climate word games, collapse kerplunk, a reading area, and so on. We had a climate music jukebox, a zone to make an object and add it to the collection, a collection of climate protest ephemera, umbrellas that represented the shrinking icecaps, and more. Several elements weren’t used as the space was small and the time was tight.
When it was open, there were lots of visitors, all extremely interested and engaged. There were spaces for talk and play, and other quieter spaces for reading and contemplation. For example, at the altar end, we created a tribute to flood victims. The atmosphere was deliberately calm and contemplative, but also intimate and caring, due to the nature of the space and its heritage. There’s a lot of work now to change and develop the tools, and importantly, to develop our branding so that we can issue clear and good-looking invitations to take part. And, we’re now on the look out for the next venue for a second trial. Future pop-ups might focus more on solutions and ecological innovations, as this aspect is not strong so far, or it might do more to draw out stories from visitors. Please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss a pop-up at your venue (London and environs).