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Key Elements for Successful Museum Design

There are 2 types of people in this world.

The type that goes to museums.

And the type that wouldn’t enter a foot into a museum.

And unfortunately, much like most things, the type that wouldn’t step foot into a museum unless they were forced to by an external force (think school trip, parents, or that first date with the person you thought was going to be “the one”) is growing in the age of technology.

So again, like just about everything, museums are having to rethink their design to stay relevant in the age of technology.

To stay relevant, you, as the interior designer, must keep multiple things in mind to make it a success. And we have four key points that will help you out!

The first is Purpose & Mission.

The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City - Photo Courtesy of CN Traveler

This has nothing to do with staying relevant to today’s society and more to do with being relevant to the purpose of the museum. The first step in designing any space is what determines the purpose and mission of this space. And this is specifically important in museums.

For example, if you were designing a Titanic Museum, you probably wouldn’t design it like you would an art museum…

So, start by figuring out the purpose and mission of the museum and it will give you a starting point for your design.

Next, you must consider the Flow.

Photo Courtesy of Xovis

When designing a museum, the key is that the museumgoers get to see every part of the museum and the directions should be very obvious and practical so that there is no confusion.

Think of every Ikea ever and replicate that in your museum design. It keeps flowing through each space and it’s always obvious where the next spot to move to is.

R & R

Le Cafe Marly - Photo Courtesy of Beau Marly

And now to stay relevant in 2024.

Museums have noticed that people are (generally speaking) less interested in wandering through spaces full of words and history if there is no reason to be doing it. Because, again, generally speaking, everything you can see in the museum you can find online if you are interested.

So, they are bringing in the idea of R&R.

And what’s R&R, you ask?

Well, it stands for Retail and Restaurants.

If your first date forces your non-museum-goer-self to wander through a museum, with the promise of a fine dining dinner at the end, you may be a little more willing to go on that second date…!

Essentially, the retail and restaurants are to appeal to the type of people who are a little less likely to head out of their comfort zone and go to a museum. Because what do people love more than spending money and eating food…! 😄

So, keep this in mind, maybe have that as the “Swedish meatballs” at the end of the museum flow. A place to buy things related to the museum or a space to grab a coffee or sit down and enjoy a meal is the best reward for taking an interest in the museum.

Plus, it adds another way to add a little more revenue to your bottom line!

And finally, potentially the most important if you ask soft-seating manufacturers…


Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada - Flexxform Project

We might just start a new trend…


Retail, Restaurants, and Rest.

Make it a thing y’all.

Anyways, rest is also important, because museums are generally quite large and require walking. So having spaces sprinkled throughout the whole museum where people can sit to study the exhibit or simply rest their feet is highly important.

And you want to make sure these spaces are comfortable enough to give your customers the best experience.

So, that’s where Flexxform comes in…!

Reach out to add some Rest to your museum design, with Flexxform furniture –


Design Display. (2019, May 7). New Trends in Museum Design. Retrieved from Design Display:

Fidanci, E. A. (2023, June 21). Guide to Design Best Interior Spaces #3 - Museum. Retrieved from IllustrArch:

Flynn, L. (2010, August 11). 7 new trends in museum design. Retrieved from Building Design + Construction:



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