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Exclusive: Museum of Tomorrow looks to future to build lasting legacy in Rio

The team behind Rio’s recently opened Museum of Tomorrow has said that they want the museum to act as a hub of culture, information and science, inspiring the local community to great things and to leave a lasting legacy in the build up to this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speaking exclusively to CLAD, Luiz Alberto Oliveira, chief curator at the museum, said that the Santiago Calatrava-designed structure was a key part of the process to renew the Guanabara Bay region, which has received significant government investment ahead of the Games.

“It’s a project with 20 years’ scope and something we’ll be monitoring,” said Oliveira. “So we set a schedule of goals and steps that should be accomplished and we will spread out the word about this development.

“This goes down to the core of our design with the building itself having some important sustainability aspects. It wants to be a paradigm of sustainability in the sense of helping the renewal of the Guanabara Bay area. For instance it’s been designed with side wings covered in solar panels which move through the day so they can catch maximum sunlight. Using this system the museum can provide up to 40 per cent of its own power.”

Brazil’s minister for tourism, Henrique Eduardo Alves, told CLAD in November that the Olympics will act as a springboard for the country’s cultural attractions, cementing the Games’ legacy through improved infrastructure and tourist links in the years to come.

With investment into infrastructure has come subsequent investment into new visitor attractions, designed to make Rio, and Brazil in general, a more hospitable and enjoyable destination for tourists coming from overseas, while also cementing the Games’ legacy for Rio in the future.

“At first we targeted the general public, so the whole publicity campaign, the media campaign was targeting everyone,” said Alexandre Fernandes, Museum of Tomorrow’s Audience Development director, speaking to CLAD.

“Now we are up and running we are starting to look at developing new audiences, particularly the local population.

“We initially created a specific membership programme for the local community, inviting people who lived in the port region to visit the museum during the final stages of the construction. By the time the museum opened in December we had about 2,000 members who live in the port area signed up. It’s a very poor area. In Brazil in general more than 50 per cent of the population earn less than US$400 (€350, £275) per month so it’s a challenge to engage them but at the same time we see that they are becoming very interested in the museum and the museum has become a place for them to learn, a place for new encounters, a place for leisure and more.”

In its efforts to enhance the lives of the local community, the Museum of Tomorrow is part of NAVE – a programme oriented to the research and development of educational solutions using the communication and information technologies in middle school, educating students for professions in the digital area.

The museum links up with NAVE, acting as a hub for offshoots all around Rio. These cultural hubs have been created with the hope of helping some of the city’s poorest areas thrive and grow.

“There’s 22 institutions, 22 locations projects but there are actually nine built hubs operating in the very poor places, very dark places, places where bodies were thrown, and they went there and they put a cultural centre there with the main objective of spreading out the word of science,” said Oliveira. “They offer students courses, internet and they have links with many other cultural institutions. Our aim is to become the mothership of this fleet of NAVEs giving them access to our vast network of information from our 80 plus partner institutions, with content we produce automatically sent to them in the future.”

The museum itself is always looking to the future, allowing the public to see what’s next for Rio and how it will evolve in the next 50 years, looking at climate change, population growth and the fields of matter, life and thoughts.

“I don’t think there is any museum like this in Brazil right now,” said Oliveira. “It’s the first of its kind. I think it’s hard to find a museum like this in the world right now because we really are on the cutting edge. It’s not only the future for Rio but we see the future for museums right here at the Museum of Tomorrow.”

Museum of Tomorrow  Rio  Brazil  Museu do Amanhã  Museum  Science  technology 
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16 Dec 2015

Santiago Calatrava's Museum of Tomorrow opens in Rio

The team behind Rio’s recently opened Museum of Tomorrow has said that they want the museum to act as a hub of culture, information and science, inspiring the local community to great things and to leave a lasting legacy in the build up to this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Speaking exclusively to CLAD, Luiz Alberto Oliveira, chief curator at the museum, said that the Santiago Calatrava-designed structure was a
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The museum has been designed with side wings covered in solar panels which move through the day so they can catch maximum sunlight
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