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How can design add value to the museums' role as an educational resource?

THE BIG QUESTION

Manipal Museum of Anatomy & Pathology

Ever since its inception, the museum has always functioned as an invaluable educational resource for both students and the layman.
What should be the defining essence of the museum?

The Manipal Museum of Anatomy and Pathology is one of the largest of its kind in Asia. Established in 1967, the museum is spread over 20,000 square feet and contains around 1,500 specimens of skeletons, cross sectional specimens, fetuses and animal skeletons and bones. The museum is divided into two separate spaces, Anatomy and Pathology. The Anatomy section displays specimens categorized under various human systems, while the Pathology section displays diseased human organs. For years, the museum has served as a valuable resource for both medical students and the general public.

Our first task was to develop an idea as to how the visitor, whether a medical student or a layman, would experience the space. We asked ourselves, “What should his journey be like?”, “What should the visitor experience as he moves around the museum?” and “What should be the defining essence of the museum?”

The central idea

The central idea was that the human body is a system that is comprised of several “wholes” - complete systems by themselves, as opposed to lesser, smaller parts. It was under this system that the various specimens were to be categorized.

 

Each “whole” plays a major role in keeping the larger body working. This way we could bring their attention to the complexity of the many subsystems within the body.

Spaces come alive with what it has to offer visually. The various sections in the museum are highlighted by beautiful illustrations, stylized in vivid glowing neon colors against black. This was our way of glorifying the amazing marvel that is the human body.