BODW 2021 Trend Report

Part 6: Culture and the City

What will tomorrow’s Museums look like? How can cultural institutions engage the community? What elements are key in crafting an unforgettable and authentic experience? How will the arts ecosystem shift and make room for more diverse voices?

CatchOn & Editorial Team·29 October, 2021
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TAO (Trace Architecture Office), one of the most active and influential architectural firms in China’s contemporary architecture field, was founded by architect Hua Li In 2009. Hua Li visions architecture as an evolving organism, being an inseparable whole with its environment, rather than just a formal object. Video courtesy of TAO (Trace Architecture Office)

Cultural institutions are essential components of our civilised lives. When it comes to taking a city’s pulse, we look to museums, libraries, and heritage sites for indications of vibrance and livability.


Besides housing historically and artistically valuable items relating past and present generations, these institutions are the cultural habitats that define the identity of a city and offer a sense of place. Design masters and cultural advocates gather to inspire the co-creation that weave together our most cherished human values, legacies, and innovations, demonstrating that the best and most creative cities are those that grow with people's aspirations while respecting the wisdom of the past.


In the wake of the pandemic, speculation is afoot on the future of museums – and the arts industry at large. A report by the architecture firm Gensler proposes that museums– whilst already community-focused and designed for public enjoyment – will become even more accessible in an effort to reach a larger audience, bolster local community engagement, and expand their influence. Tomorrow’s museums, according to the report, will be more welcoming, striking a balance between more traditional ways of engagement and newer, exciting experiences that are better suited to an evolving landscape.


Hong Kong may have the first taste of this reimagined cultural experience with the long-awaited opening of M+, the crowning jewel of the burgeoning West Kowloon Arts District. Designed by globally renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron together with TFP Farrells and Arup, M+ is set to house around 1,500 works spanning visual art, moving image works, design objects, architectural projects, and archival objects from Hong Kong, Greater China, Asia, and beyond. As Max Hollein, Director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, recently told Artnet: “I do think the physical experience of the museum will continue to be powerful and strong. But museums will expand significantly in ways that are not just physical, but also digital and intellectual in regard to their engagement in various areas of the world.”


The key speaker line-up of this year’s Summit for the related topic includes:

  • Ascan Mergenthaler - Senior Partner, Herzog & de Meuron (Switzerland)
  • Betty Ng - Founder & Director, COLLECTIVE (HK)
  • Hua Li – Founder and Principal, Trace Architecture Office (TAO) (Mainland China)
  • Rocco Yim – Principal, Rocco Design Architects Ltd (HK)
  • Suhanya Raffel - Museum Director, M+, MPlus Musuem Limited (HK)
  • Tiffany Dahlen – Associate Partner, MAD Architects (Mainland China)
  • Gong Yan - Director, Power Station of Art (Mainland China)
  • and others


Stay tuned for BODW2021 SUMMIT. LET'S RESET @BODW2021!


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Global Design Reset: A Primer of Business of Design Week (BODW) 2021