Wednesday 26 April 2017

The Beach Principle of Exhibition Design

Imagine an empty beach. A family arrives to enjoy their day in the sun. As the beach is empty the spot they choose to sit down is chosen in a quasi randomly fashion. They may have some preferences, but in the end a beach is an empty space where everything is homogeneous.
After a while another family arrives. They don't want to sit too close to their neighbours, because that is considered weird, but most likely they don't want to travel too far either. So they settle on a spot that stands in some arbitrary relationship to the previous occupants. A third group arrives and they choose a spot that stands in the same arbitrary relationship to the two groups already there. This goes on for a while and the beach fills up in this manner, evenly, naturally and seemingly randomly distributing the space between the occupants.
Then after a longer while some people start to leave, after which the spots are filled up again, or left empty, until a certain point late in the afternoon where the beach doesn't really change anymore till the sun sets and everybody goes home together.

Østre Anlæg, Copenhagen

Galerie du Temps, Louvre-Lens