Museum Storage Design

advanced facilities for museum collections

Adding value to the design specification

If you are about to embark on a museum storage project, you could benefit from my services in various ways. You may wish to have an independent survey indicating the overall accommodation requirement. Or you may be at the stage of mapping this requirement onto putative building plans. Here collaboration between museum and non-museum professionals becomes a key concern.

Misunderstandings can mean that design features important to museum staff fail to reach the final drawings. By using the technical terms understood by designers and contractors, and by giving actual examples taken from the museum world of successful and unsuccessful applications, I can help you to avoid innumerable design pitfalls.  This generally saves clients much time and frustration, and gives the collaborators added confidence in the received specification.

The physical characteristics of the spaces will determine usability, and a close involvement with the development of drawings and specifications throughout the project is therefore essential. I have solid experience in this area. Suppliers are experienced in fitting storage systems into given spaces, and will usually provide layout drawings, but it is key to good storage design that the spaces themselves are conceived carefully and with reference to workflow so that the desired storage systems can be incorporated efficiently.

When specifying equipment according to the type and level of use, I can refer to a wide range of mobile and static systems.  I have no business association with any supplier or manufacturer, and am therefore free to evaluate products on their own merits.

Refining the operational requirements for lasting efficiency
Backstage operations in museums tend to be resource-hungry, and keeping the operating costs within sensible limits is just as important as maintaining optimal storage conditions for the collections. So current practices within your institution must be looked at carefully, to see where waste is occurring - and it always is occurring somewhere.

Workflow, as I have said, is an influence on physical storage design. My experience of managing large and public-facing collections storage services has given me insights into systems and processes, lines of communication and concentrations of responsibility. I am able to work with museum staff to focus on how people can help themselves to do things with less effort, and with less waste. When process improvement is conceived and implemented by the people doing the work, its success becomes their success. If you believe your organisation would benefit from looking closely at system and processes, I may be able to help.