Fostering Relationships through a Co-creative Exhibition

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  • Title: Fostering Relationships through a Co-creative Exhibition
  • Author(s): Huey Jye Cherry Thian
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Inclusive Museum
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
  • Keywords: Participatory, Multigenerational, Interactions
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2016
  • ISSN: 1835-2014 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1835-2022 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Thian, Huey Jye Cherry. 2016. "Fostering Relationships through a Co-creative Exhibition." The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum 10 (1): 51-62. doi:10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v10i01/51-62.


Recent literature on museums and learning suggests that the museum visitor experience is determined by the fluid interaction between three contexts related to the visit: the personal, the social, and the physical. Meaningful social interaction from positive relationships helps to engage and generate interest in learning. To promote interest in Singapore history among the young, the Peranakan Museum launched a community-curated exhibition that presented history through love stories told by older couples. It conceptualised and tested a model that primarily focused on relationship building and interaction in the multi-ethnic and multigenerational setting that is Singapore. The project involved one museum staff member, four young curators from a polytechnic, twenty young participants, and seventy elderly people. This paper presents the design rationale from personal, social, and physical perspectives; surveys the effectiveness of the implementation; explores the wider issues raised by the findings; and relates lessons learned from unforeseen challenges encountered along the way.