Is the traditional concept of cultural spaces still in vogue?


International experts ponder the redefinition of museums, showrooms, libraries and theaters in the new topic of the month at Places for culture

Does the traditional concept of cultural spaces make sense? How can we make good use of the latest technologies? Can ephemeral art be shown and shared? How can a sustainable vision be incorporated?


Culture is a combination of lifestyles, traditions and knowledge, and is a fundamental concept in the progress of any society. Culture is constantly evolving, and is built over time through multiple overlapping layers. It simultaneously fuses the past (preservation), present (today’s voices) and future (ability to interpret and anticipate what’s still to come).


Historically, humans have tried to create spaces for knowledge and leisure that allow these three dimensions to be adequately conveyed to others. Like the concept of culture itself, museums, theaters, libraries and other public spaces where culture is expressed also evolve in their own way. Creating these places has always been a major aspiration for architects, designers, urban planners and artists, who now find themselves at the crossroads of a potential paradigm shift.


Does it make sense to use the model of cultural spaces that has lasted for centuries, a model that is settled, static and often elitist? How can spaces be reimagined to allow for new forms of cultural expression? How can professionals adapt to new approaches in safety, sustainability and innovation? In its new topic of the month, “Places for culture”, analyzes the current context and new trends for these spaces to map out new paths for development and transformation. To address these topics, the platform will host a series of articles until the end of October, all of them written by a panel of world-renowned experts.


Authors who have already contributed to this series include Xevi Bayona, architect and professor in Elisava and the Polytechnical University of Girona, with an article entitled “Moments” that spotlights ephemeral architecture as a valuable art form, viewed from five distinct perspectives. In “Buildings and spaces for culture”, the architect and urban planner Beverly Sandalack writes about the need to redesign cities that merge cultural spaces with public areas, describing the cases of Oslo and Bilbao. Marina Correia, architect and co-founder of Atelier de Arquitetura e Desenho Urbano, takes a social approach, outlining in “Bo Bardi in the present” the keys to designing architectural exhibitions that reveal the author’s ideas and creative processes. Eva Schlegel, an artist specializing in public art projects, recalls the creative process of her “Cloudspace” project and discusses mirrored images, mutability and fleetingness.

Along the same lines, authors such as the design student Marina Cabanes, participant in the European project known as VIBE, share their thoughts on the experiential power of using technology in a museum. Likewise, Raymund Ryan, curator of the Heinz Architectural Center, will comment on the common traits of architectural exhibitions, based on four case studies.

In upcoming weeks, authors such as Angela Balbellou, architect and director of the Observatorio 2030 of the CSCAE, will also be brought in to give their opinions on the importance of a museum’s space and how it influences the visitor’s experience. Last, Sheila O’Connell, architect and honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, will close this issue with an article on theaters and performing arts centers.

In this new topic of the month, continues to offer professionals from a variety of disciplines a chance to address topics from the vantage point of architecture, design, innovation and sustainability. All articles are available online in both English and Spanish at