Think Tank: The Future Museum
In 2008 the V&A launched a series of ThinkTanks on future-facing issues related to contemporary design and museum spaces. Leading designers and thinkers from across the UK and further afield shared their points of view, helping the V&A to showcase, support and critically engage with the future of museums. The second ThinkTank looked at The Future Museum - what can museums do about the requirements of a carbon-neutral future?
Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, opened the debate on how museums have so far not achieved much in the way of developing low-energy environments; Chris Rapley (Director of the Science Museum) talked about the worrying forecasts for global warming; Peter Gingold (Executive Director of Tipping Point) gave an overview on the intersection between climate change and the cultural sector and the arts; and Sunand Prasad (President of the Royal Institute of British Architects) looked at the problem from the architect's point of view.
At a lecture at the Science Museum's Dana Centre Studio on 1 May 2008, Professor Chris Rapley of the Science Museum mistakenly stated that Lord Lawson used 1998 global temperature data as a starting date to demonstrate that the world has not recently warmed and that this was a dishonest methodology. The true position is that Lord Lawson has at no time used 1998 as a starting date. Professor Rapley did not intend a personal attack on Lord Lawson, but merely a forthright criticism of the methodology. Nevertheless, he apologies unreservedly for any slur on Lord Lawson's reputation and arguments, as well as for any offence caused.
Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, opens The Future Museum ThinkTank
... I've been working in museums for a long time, and in the whole time that I've worked in museums they have been overwhelmingly committed to taking a green view of life - and over that time they have made no progress whatever in giving reality to that... '
About Sir Mark Jones
Sir Mark Jones is the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. He is also Chairman of the National Museum Directors' Conference; a trustee of the National Trust, the Gilbert Collection, and The Pilgrim Trust; and a member of the Court and Council of the Royal College of Art.
Peter Gingold talks about the intersection between climate change and the cultural sector
'... at the heart this issue is about the way we live, it's about who we are, what our relationship is to each other and the planet. And the cultural sector is perfectly positioned, I believe, to hold up a mirror to that and actually show us how we live...'
About Peter Gingold
Peter Gingold is the Executive Director of Tipping Point, a network-based organisation aiming to be a year round 'connector' of the arts and climate through one off events, conferences and public debates. He has had a very varied career working on projects motivated by climate change, including spending a number of years working in low cost housing in developing countries.
Sunand Prasad talks about the Future Museum from the architect's point of view
'... there is a lot to learn, for example, from abroad, from each other, from just benchmarking what everybody is doing and seeing how ... some museums, for reasons that are not yet understood, seem to be doing much better than others...'
About Sunad Prasad
Sunand Prasad is the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is also a founding partner of Penoyre & Prasad LLP, a London-based architectural practice known for designing a diverse range of award winning buildings.