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Where do old exhibitions go?

Every year, a large number of exhibitions are produced globally, but tragically, a similar number are disposed of because they are not suitable (or practical) for rent, travel or other purposes. To help combat climate change in the future, we need practical solutions that can be applied ‘easily’. So how do we deal with the everlasting wish to renew exhibitions?

This reverse session will seek solutions for this ubiquitous problem and bring vivid discussion and a variety of perspectives and experiences in order to collaborate, optimise and discover a multitude of sustainable, innovative solutions which could also be cost-effective.


Executive Director

Session speakers

Program Director
I will start with introducing the problem and sharing the difficulties of a children’s museum in a low-income country operating on a tight budget, and then will go on to facilitate the session by giving the floor to the different speakers, encouraging the audience to make comments, share thoughts, related (but not limited) to: • the concept of designing exhibits in a sustainable and fancy way – from the conceptual stage to their realization and phase-off, taking into consideration the miscellaneous articles, especially the furniture needed for operating an exhibition, as well; • the challenges of looking for new ways to use the temporary exhibitions in a practical way; • using the old exhibits to create three mini science centers; • more 'furniture' for our exhibitions, around our show cases. In the end will try to summarize the reflections into a useful outcome.
Gunnar Behrens, Archimedes Exhibitions
Managing Director
In 2017/2018 we invented a completely recyclable exhibition which started with a “sustainable manifest” and ended in a co-creation process with the university and a children’s aid association. Gunnar from Archimedes Exhibitions would like to share the complexity and the difficulties of this procedure as well as the small successes in this story of the afterlife of a temporary exhibition which could be inspiring for other museums and science centers, too.
Deputy Director
We at AHHAA Science Centre are constantly looking new ways to use our temporary exhibitions in a practical way. We have a goal set in our strategies that 80% of the exhibits must be re-used. This may mean that an exhibit will be part of the permanent collection, or it will be sold to someone else or it may be rented out. We would like to avoid any “one time” exhibits if possible as this is the most expensive way of operating. We try to sell our left-over exhibits to different kind of organizations than we by ourselves. Sometimes it is successful and sometimes not. There are almost no platforms or communities for this kind of market. Maybe there should be?
project manager exhibitions
As a project manager exhibitions I develop two temporary exhibitions a year for the museum. For each exhibition we tend to order everything anew and to throw away most parts at the end. I will share my search for practical solutions. Glass will be reused again. How about pedestals? Can reuse also be possible for digital parts?