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Workshop Staging techniques and tools

Staging tools – Staging formats

conducted by Cookies collective
September 2016
Milano, Museo del Design

The collective proposed to the participants an investigation into the new expressions conducted in the field of exhibition design through the means of proactive design and interactivity.
Research, critical approach and interdisciplinary collaboration became the necessary tools for an architect to expand the boundaries of an exhibition design project by supporting experts, curators and artists.

Focusing on visualisation and exhibition design techniques, the workshop is partly based on recent examples of exhibitions realised by members of the Cookies collective, part of the OMA studio (Auguste Perret, Eight Masterpieces, OMA 2014, Serial / Portable Classics, OMA 2015, Fundamentals Venice Biennale, OMA 2014, Knoll Pavilion at the Salone del Mobile, OMA 2013-2016). The Design Museum space will be the case study and space for experimentation (collage photos, models, visualisations).


During the three days, lectures alternated with exercises and moments dedicated to production. The first hours are dedicated to the presentation of important examples of artists, curators, architects, designers in the field of exhibition design. The references were a source of inspiration for the second part of the workshop day, dedicated to production.

Module 1. Spaces – Strategies

-10 fundamental set-ups in the history of exhibition: introduction to the techniques of setting up using examples and practical cases.
-On-screen exercise related to exhibition space. Production of models, samples, collages, prototypes.

Module 2. Art -Artists

  • 15 artists/works: limitations and opportunities contained in the proposed examples, related to materials and means of expression.
  • Exercise on selected works: reworking, mise en scène, rehearsal of critical arrangement and integration of research parameters in the production of visualisation strategies.

Module 3. Formats

  • During the module, the notion of format was introduced.
  • In situ exercise: proposals for The Design Museum (in indoor and outdoor spaces). Simulations with projectors, physical digital models.

Module 4. Practice

  • Each student is invited to produce a draft of the selected staging strategy, starting from the examples proposed and analysed in class. The end result is an approach to the complexity of staging and staging, based on existing works and art spaces.
  • Group or individual work with collective critical discussion. The workshop productions were collected and shared with the students.

Essential reference bibliography

‘Some voids thoughts on Museums’ Robert Smithson in ‘The Collected Writings’, University of California Press, 1996
Hotel Carlton Palace. Chambre 763 An Exhibition by Hans Ulrich Obrist Cornerhouse pub. 2014
Serial/Portable Classic Edited by Salvatore Settis, Anna Anguissola, Davide Gasparotto Progetto Prada Arte, Milan 2015
Impressions of Africa Raymond Roussel, self pub, 1910
Content OMA, Taschen, 2004


At the end of the workshop, the students came into contact with numerous possibilities of approaches and strategies in the field of exhibition design. The examples provided, coupled with the exercises, enabled them to initiate a phase of personal research and experimentation in this vast field. Specific exhibition techniques were explored and documented.

The list is not exhaustive and it is not necessary to bring all the items present

Personal references and affinities (artists, works, spaces)

Meeting Cookies, a collective of designers and architects from Rotterdam
An interview conducted by journalist Valentina Raggi.

17 September 2016 – Design Museum

On the occasion of the Temporary Academy workshop, the Design Museum and Video Sound Art organised a Proactive Design meeting conducted by Valentina Raggi.

Staging tools – Staging formats
Workshop Staging techniques and tools
September 2016
Milano, Museo del Design

conducted by Cookies collective