Just like Die Neue Sammlung (literally The New Collection) in Munich, Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nuremberg, the official name of which is Neues Museum, chose “Neu” (new) as its name and agenda, as a sign that as an institute it ventures down paths not yet trodden.
Neues Museum in Nuremberg opened in April 2000. At the time the presentation of art was accorded the same weighting as the shows on design, a quite unique approach. Since then Die Neue Sammlung – The International Design Museum Munich – has displayed design in Nuremberg in the form of both permanent and temporary exhibitions. In response to the timeframe covered by the art collection, the design section focuses on the period from the end of World War II to the present day.
Since spring 2008 design has been closely dovetailed with art in a new presentation which brings to light differences, as well as parallel trends, far more clearly than was possible when the two fields were strictly divided on separate floors.
On both storeys visitors now pass through alternating rooms devoted to either art or design. The opportunity to display design on both floors enables the exhibits to be exhibited by theme and not chronologically, as was previously the case.
The ground floor, for example, is now reserved for current trends, new ideas, and young designers, who also have an opportunity there to present special installations to the public.
Given the particular lighting in them, the two rooms at the rear of the ground floor are devoted to graphic design, photography and other smaller special exhibitions.
On the upper floor the focus is on classic design, be it the work of a single designer, specific functions, or design principles. Given the way they are now configured, here too each of the rooms can be devoted to a specific theme.
In addition to the vitality and diversity experienced as visitors make their way through the rooms, this layout also has the practical advantage of being extremely flexible, allowing individual rooms to be swapped round and devoted to a different theme.
As if of its own accord, this new spatial layout also involves a realignment with regard to content, reinterpreting the concept behind the task a museum of art and design is meant to fulfill: Interlacing as opposed to layering.