Project: "Wonder Rooms"
Designer(s): Design Team Kossmann.dejong, Netherlands
Category: , Professional
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Entry Description: Wonderkamers [Wonder Rooms] at the Gemeentemuseum The Hague is entirely refurbished with a new concept and design. After seven years of intensive use of Europe’s first youth museum, located in a special exhibition wing, it was time for a revamp. The basis has remained the same: young people can explore in a playful way how art can surprise and enrich us. What is innovative is that interactivity plays an integral part. Wonderkamers makes a fresh start through an approach in which the visitor lands in a story, and is given the role of curator in the overall ‘museum game’. Like real curators, the participants will be tested on their knowledge, creativity, and alertness. The Wonderkamers’ floor plan, which comprises 13 rooms surrounding a central art depot, with at its centre the Miniature Museum, transforms during the game into a spatial and interactive board game. Using a special tablet, ‘the wonder guide’, visitors navigate through the rooms in which the game is being played. Every room has been designed around a different theme: a little wonder world where every game connects the teenagers with art, architecture, fashion or design on a joyful and interactive way. They can for example dance the Boogie Woogie together with Mondrian, take part in a fashion show, build a museum building like Berlage did, zoom in on details of paintings, learn how to determine the value of artworks. The better visitors do the tests, the more points they gather, with which they can start to develop their art collection, and which they eventually put on display virtually in its own room in the Miniature Museum. This spectacular museum, which has its own miniature art collection, was specifically developed for the new Wonderkamers. To conclude the visit, the museum room will be officially inaugurated.

About the Designer/Company
Kossmann.dejong, exhibition architects, is an Amsterdam-based design agency that focuses on exhibition and interior architecture. The agency was founded in 1998 by Herman Kossmann (1958) and Mark de Jong (1960), both graduated in architecture at the Technical University in Delft. Kossmann.dejong has grown into an agency with around 25 employees. A connection between content and imagination is what characterises Kossmann.dejong´s design approach. It manages to do this while making complex design issues accessible to a broad audience and to transform them into intrinsic experiences. The agency combines a range of disciplines and media that enable it to tell spatial stories. Film, lighting and sound are indispensable media in generating experiences. The subjects of their exhibitions range from architecture, history of psychiatry, art for teenagers and micro-organisms. Currently Kossmann.dejong is, among other projects, working on four museums for a cultural park in Taipei (Taiwan), the Coral Triangle Center in Bali (Indonesia), the Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Germany), microZOO for Artis (NL), the new National Military Museum in Soesterberg (NL) as well as an exhibition for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon (UK). Most recent projects are the photo exhibition ‘Jimmy Nelson- Hail the People’ for the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Leiden (NL), the ‘Wonder Rooms’ for the Gemeentemuseum The Hague (NL) and the permanent exhibition for the Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingor (Denmark).