Museums as meeting places: undoing conflict with dialogue

Fabiana Dicuonzo
CITCEM – Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinar «Cultura, Espaço e Memória», Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

The poster aims to highlight the potential of the museum’s architecture by looking at the liminal spaces as meeting places undoing conflict. The proposal emerges as a theoretical dialogue between museology and architecture in the framework of the author’s PhD research, “Museums as meeting places: learning from educational spaces”. The liminal spaces are an understudied topic that can play a relevant role in building inclusivity in the museum. Considering the museum as a political entity, the liminal spaces can facilitate accessibility and democracy through an attentive and proper design. As public spaces of transition between the outside and the inside of the museum, the liminal spaces are the first visitor’s approach to the cultural institution, and for this reason, they are crucial in undoing physical and non-physical barriers. Embracing the theoretical concept of Doreen Massey of space as an ongoing outcome of our relationality, museums should look at liminal spaces as the main stage of relationships between people, objects and space where the encounter can build dialogue. The poster drawing reflects this concept, highlighting the relations in the museum’s liminal spaces through a graphic elaboration of an ongoing observation on the museum’s hall of the Serralves Foundation in Porto, Portugal. The study allowed the author to collect multiple affordances and relationships between the different actants, evoking the potential dialogue the museum’s space can build to be a place for all of us.

Keywords: museum; liminal spaces; meeting places; dialogue.

Fabiana Dicuonzo is an Italian architect and curator based in Porto (PT). She is currently a PhD student in Heritage Studies – Museology specialisation at Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto(FCT scholarship 2022.11710.BD). She is a licensed architect specialising in conservation and exhibit design, working for public and private institutions. She is a consultant architect in European Cooperation Projects for Apulia Region – Department of Tourism, Economy of Culture and Valorization of the Territory. Since 2016, she has written for Artwort online magazine, and since 2021 she has been the co-founder of Artwort Gallery. She is the co-founder and co-curator of Antilia Gallery and the co-founder of PROFFERLO Architecture (PT-UK). She holds a Master in Architecture at the Polytechnic of Bari (2015) and attended the Postgraduate School in Architectural and Landscape Heritage, “La Sapienza” University of Rome (2018). She deepened museums and curatorial studies while participating in three online courses at the NODE Center for Curatorial Studies based in Berlin and the advanced Course EXHIBIT at the MAXXI Museum of the 21st Century Art in Rome.