these are the posts tagged ‘museum’:

bletchley park

so, this gorgeous place where we had our afternoon tea is called bletchley park, and it’s not just a gorgeous park…

… but also the home of the WW2 codebreakers, and a fantastic museum!

it was a beautiful sunny day this past august when we took the train to bletchley from london, not knowing very well what to expect… but optimistic on the prospect of exploring 2 things i enjoy: science and history! having seen the imitation game not that long ago, and having studied cryptography some years ago in university, we were definitely curious.

on the entrance, we got ourselves 2 spy kits (supposedly for children, but way too much fun to pass on) and then just followed the clues, decoding the mysteries of the park one by one.

we were stoked to discover that bletchley park is wonderfully interactive! not only did they preserve much of the furniture and materials from the war time, they also use clever projections to show people talking and working on the actual rooms, along with screens that you can use to learn the basic concepts of cryptography.

the museum takes place in several huts and houses around the park, and you can see the effort that went into giving the visitors a sense of what life was like here… and the dimension of the puzzle they were trying to crack against the clock, over and over, every single day.

one of the highlights of the trip was to see a demonstration of (a reconstruction of) the bombe, the machine used to decrypt enigma’s messages!

with our geeky hearts filled to the brim, we hopped on the train back to london at the end of the day, ready to finish our kits and write some postcards for friends. it was the perfect day! :)

a museum for… things!

a few weeks ago, we visited the museum of things. it was an intriguing premise…. all museums have things. so which things would the museum of things have?
museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin
the answer, we found out, was all kinds of things! :)

well, mostly interesting things, anyway. instead of following a chronological order, they’re grouped by color, shape, material, function… sometimes in contrast, others in tune, with little words or explanation. the patterns are implicit and easily spotted.
museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin

there were toys, measuring tools, german things and foreign things, furniture pieces, appliances…
museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin
…kitschy things, cutlery and plates and pots and pans…
museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin
… useless things, boxes, tins, cans, electrical odds and bits, old telephones, mail items…museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin
… writing tools, signs, cutting tools, postboxes, hangers…
museum of things, kreuzberg, berlin
… creams, perfums and powders, jewellery… we even saw a little shrine from our lady of fatima! there are so many things, you’re guaranteed to find something that makes you go woooow! :D

there’s also a model of the frankfurt kitchen, which revolutionised architecture in the 20s by introducing the concept of functional kitchens with standardized dimensions and layout.

the museum is on oranienstraße 25 (top floor) but it has odd opening hours, so make sure to check them out before you go!

suzhou museum

suzhou museum

here comes another post overflowing with pictures. the second stop on our suzhou tour was the suzhou museum: we had it on our bookmarks since noticing it on coolhunter. it is designed by I. M. Pei, a suzhou-born architech. he explained his ideas for the museum on the ny times:

He sought to remain true to China’s tradition of courtyards and gardens yet rethink those models. He wanted neither a flat Western roof nor the arched gray tile roof typical of Suzhou.
He found a solution that incorporated the idea of whitewashed walls but eliminated the gray tile roofs, accenting the building instead with gray stone.

“Instead of gray tile roofs, I needed something that would develop volumes,” he said, drawing a diagram on a paper showing an ascending roof pattern. “So I let the walls climb onto the roof. If the walls were stucco, why not the roof?”

The result is a 160,000-square-foot museum that has many of the hallmarks of Mr. Pei’s earlier designs — his squares, rectangles and pyramids — as well as an expansive use of glass and light. It also has traditional motifs, like a large Chinese garden with an artificial pond, a Chinese footbridge and a wall of thinly sliced rocks that yields an image of a series of mountain peaks against an older, whitewashed garden wall.

the result was impressive, intriguing, geometrical, modern yet classical. quite neat, if you ask me, and as a result, we didn’t pay much attention to the exhibitions. :P

suzhou museum

corridor at suzhou museum

staircase, suzhou museum

suzhou museum, fish pond

window detail, suzhou museum

a visit to the shanghai museum

in a sort of new year resolution, we decided to make an effort to visit a “touristy” destination in shanghai every week or so, to get to know the city a bit better.

this week we went to the shanghai museum. you can learn about all sorts of art-related aspects of chinese culture in there, and there’s enough of it to keep you entertained for hours – a clear overdose of information to our jetlagged minds. anyway, here are some pictures:

chinese bronze works

chinese bronze works

chinese sculpture

chinese sculpture

chinese ceramics

chinese ceramics



chinese seal

traditional chinese paiting

all in all, this would have been better if we were less tired – or had a special interest in any sort of ancient art.
still, there are some lovely pieces in there, and the entrance is free, so if you fancy stuff like calligraphy, chinese paintings, currency, bronze works, sculpture, ceramics, chinese furniture, jade carving, etc. give it a go!