The museum foyer as a transformative space of communication

Bidragets oversatte titel: Museumsforhallen som et transformativt kommunikationsrum

Ditte Laursen, Erik Kristiansen, Kirsten Drotner

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This article explores how we may study physical museum foyers as
multilayered spaces of communication. Based on a critical examination of ways
in which the museum foyer is conceptualised in the research literature, we define
the foyer as a transformative space of communication for visitors which has four
transformative functions, and we ask the following question: How do people
entering the museum practise these transformative functions so as to become
visitors – and become non-visitors again on leaving? Answers are provided through an empirical analysis of the foyer as a transformative communicative space. Based on qualitative studies of four divergent Danish museums and a science centre, we demonstrate that the foyer’s communicative space supports transformative functions consisting of multiple phases before and after the visit itself, namely arrival–orientation–service–preparation (before the visit) and preparation–service–evaluation–departure (after the visit). We discuss the implications of these results for the museum and heritage sectors and argue for more granular understandings of the visitor perspective.
Bidragets oversatte titelMuseumsforhallen som et transformativt kommunikationsrum
TidsskriftNordisk Museologi
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)69-88
StatusUdgivet - 2016


  • Lobby, foyer, visitor studies, museum communication, transformation