‘Part-science lab, part-playground’: how kids made museums take fun seriously

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From London to California, architects are helping museums provide interactive learning experiences that can’t be found on screen

State of play: TapeScape, an interactive art installation built in collaboration with artist Eric Lennartson at Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Last year, the Hoxton-based architecture practice AOC set up the Open Studio at the V&A Museum of Childhood in nearby Bethnal Green, east London. The 147-year-old institution was set to be renovated and initial consultation of local schoolchildren had found that they wanted the space turned into the “most joyful museum in the world”. AOC set up the Open Studio to find out how this could be done. It was a test-lab of forums and workshops for children and families, a space where visitors were encouraged to hold objects from the V&A’s collection and answer questions such as: “What is a museum?”

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