A/D/O by MINI | Virtual Museum Activities and Exhibitions



Virtual Museum Activities and Exhibitions

Craving a dose of design? We’ve compiled a list of virtual design museum activities and exhibitions.

Many museums are going virtual and turning to social media to connect with communities. Increasingly, design and architecture museums around the world are tapping into new ways to interact with their audiences and developing online programs. Not only that, Google’s Arts & Culture platform, which partners with more than 2,000 museums and galleries worldwide, saw a big surge of interest in March. For design lovers, we’ve rounded up a list of museums offering exciting online programs (in English) and selected some virtual exhibitions worth checking out.


Triennale Milano

Milan, Italy

As a response to the country-wide lockdown in Italy, Triennale Milano started a moving Instagram Live event series called Decameron: streaming stories that invites artists, designers, architects, intellectuals and other creatives to enter the empty museum and “develop a personal story”. The initiative was inspired by the book The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, which contains 100 tales told by a group of young people staying outside of Florence to escape the Black Plague in 1348 and pass time. Missed the Live event? You can still read about the streamed stories on the museum’s website or relive them on IGTV. If you know a bit of Italian and fancy delving into the Triennale Milano’s permanent collection and archives, you can also do that here.

Photo by Gianluca di Ioia.

Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Atlanta, USA

While the MODA team is still developing its online program, the museum has already unveiled an impressive line-up of classes and workshops for kids and adults, including a Wash Your Hands & Don’t Be a Racist Embroidery Tutorial, an Exploring Social Entrepreneurship session, and a Minecraft Meetup: Regenerative Architecture for Ages 9-18. What’s more, MODA is currently working on bringing its Learning From Nature: The Future of Design exhibition online for all to enjoy. In the meantime, follow MODA on Instagram for updates on their online program.

Serpentine Galleries

London, UK

Since closing its doors to the public, Serpentine Galleries has rolled out Serpentine Online, an exciting program that consists of online exhibitions, podcasts, special live broadcasts and digital commissions. For instance, you can visit the Cambio.website to explore Studio Formafantasma’s exhibition online or check out Suzanne Treister’s augmented reality experience. On Instagram, Serpentine Galleries is also sharing book recommendations, hosting live weekly conversations and tidbits from its archive.

Photo by George Darrell.

Stedelijk Museum

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Every week, Stedelijk Museum will be streaming a live tour through its collections or one of its exhibitions on Instagram (Live Tours will be available on Facebook and YouTube afterwards). The art and design museum will also be sharing mini-documentaries from their most popular exhibitions as well as previews of upcoming programs. For more online activities, its Stay at Home Stedelijk page also has links to creative workshops for families as well as audio tours from previous exhibitions.

Photo by Gert Jan van Rooij.

Museum of Craft and Design (MCD)

San Francisco, USA

In an effort to make creativity accessible to everyone, the Museum of Craft and Design launched MCD@Home. In partnership with artists and community collaborators, MCD is creating a series of “at-home projects” in line with the museum’s programming and exhibitions. With more time on your hands, perhaps now’s the time to try your hand at Shibori Dyeing or a Frida Kahlo-inspired self-portrait. To stay updated, subscribe to MCD’s mailing list or follow them on social media here.

Photo courtesy of WorkshopSF artist Hayley Collette.

Vitra Design Museum

Weil am Rhein, Germany

From armchairs and tables to lamps and cabinetry, Vitra Design Museum's massive online collection is a fun way to browse and learn about some of the most iconic design objects. Curator Vivian Stappmanns also recently offered an intimate virtual tour on Instagram Stories of one of the museum’s current exhibitions Typology: An Ongoing Study of Everyday Items, which examines everyday objects that are often overlooked in our culture and questions our relationship to them. On Instagram, the museum has started putting a spotlight on designs that are in some way relevant to the way we live and work from home in the era of COVID-19.

Photo by Ludger Paffrath.

Cooper Hewitt

New York City, USA

To help you stay inspired during these uncertain times, Cooper Hewitt wants to inject some wonder and delight into your day by sharing fascinating designs daily through Instagram. The museum also has a couple of virtual exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture, including one on African American Design and another on how the natural sciences have enriched the work of designers. If you want to satisfy your creative itch, don’t forget there’s the Smithsonian Open Access platform where you can get your hands on almost three million 2D and 3D digital items from the institution's many collections and remix them without asking for permission.

Photo by Matt Flynn.


Collective City

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2019, South Korea

For those who missed the 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, fear not because you can now explore its main exhibition online. Under the 2019 theme of ‘Collective City,’ the exhibition examines collective approaches to urban development, highlights alternative models of architecture and reflects on new ways of cohabitation. 

Material Thinking 

Social Fabric, South Africa

Created by Cape Town-based collaborative platform Social Fabric SA, this exhibition investigates the relationship between mohair and architecture. It walks us through the “cross-creative thinking” process that participating creatives took to explore how mohair could be transformed for different uses and contexts. 

How Bauhaus Found Its Way to India 

The Museum of Design Excellence (MoDE), India

This exhibition takes a look at the first Bauhaus show outside of Germany – which, unbeknownst to many, took place in Kolkata, India – and traces the influence of the German art school on India’s culture and architecture.

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