Thursday, November 18, 2010

An ideas museum in Barcelona

Jeffrey Baumgartner publishes Report 103 - a twice monthly newsletter focused on creativity, imagination, ideas and innovation in business. All the newsletters can be found at

The following extract 'An ideas museum in Barcelona' is used with his permission.

Catalan inventor Pep Torres believes that "An idea locked up in your head is like a thorn in your heart". The inventor will shortly be able to remove his own thorn by bringing to life his idea to create a museum dedicated to creativity and inventions. It will be called the miBa, and will be housed in a six hundred metre square central location in Barcelona, which will open its doors to visitors in January 2011.
miBa stands for Ideas and Inventions Museum, Barcelona. But this is no ordinary museum; this one will appeal to everyone. Pep Torres says "The subject matter of some museums, such as Barcelona's Erotic Museum, excludes a large section of the public, and other specialised museums, such as the Footwear Museum, isn't for all tastes. However, everyone likes an invention."
The miBa will also stand out from the crowd as it aims to offer more than any conventional museum. It will support and convey creativity and inventions by inspiring, training and communicating with visitors. As such, according to Torres, this museum is about more than just looking at displays. "The miBa is, above all, a hands-on project to awaken latent creativity and get the visitors thinking," says Torres. "The intention is that everyone who steps through the door will leave wanting to turn their ideas into reality."
Inspiration is can be found in the museum's permanent collection: a tour of the imaginary everyday items we will be using in 2300 (Futour), hysterical useless and absurd inventions (Funventions) and a cause-and-effect machine that the visitors can operate, alongside a selection of the ideas and inventions that are shaping our future.
The miBa also invites exhibition-goers to reflect. "We are going to raise people's awareness and get visitors to react to the subject matter. We want them to creatively participate to resolve the matters being put forward, for them to do their bit, so that together, we build a better world."

The miBa will also become a training centre. Its Labs will be used to apply the creative knowledge and inspiration derived from the museum. "We are going to develop a series of conferences based on the TED Talks, which provide innovators with a platform, whether they are well known or not," says Torres, who will also be applying his years of experience to give conferences on creativity and innovation.
In reality, this museum is a way of introducing the public to the work carried out by Torres and his creative agency, Stereonoise. As such, the museum will hold frequent workshops. "We hope that the participants in the creative workshops take the practical ideas from the sessions away with them and immediately apply them to their own personal and professional projects." Visitors will be able to see the team cooking up ideas for the museum live, just like an open restaurant kitchen. "And can even have a chat or a cup of coffee with us," adds Torres.
While the adults are using their little grey cells to create a better world to live in, the kids will also be able to join in the fun. "The Twentyone Lab is based on the format developed by British inventor Bill Currie, which comprises a group of twenty-one children developing various inventions using a creative method that brings out individual as well as team talent over a period of twenty-one weeks; it also involves “Hola, Soy Inventor” (Hi, I'm an Inventor), a dynamic, short presentation for children about the world of inventions, which involves testing and discussing a range of inventions from my personal collection," explains Torres.
"All in all, the aim of this personal project is to give the city of Barcelona a space where people find the drive to bring the ideas buzzing around in their heads to life," he concludes. Space designed by: Juanola & DeMiguel Arquitectes

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