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Exhibition Design Questions Our Love of the Precious Objects It Displays

There’s a whiff of social satire in Kristin Jarmund Architects’ design for Norway’s Bergen Silver Collection.

The Magpie Nest

Rarely do you get an exhibition design that questions the very value of what’s being exhibited–but that’s exactly what Kristin Jarmund Architects created for the Bergen Silver Collection, on display in Bergen’s Museum of Decorative Arts and Design.

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At first sight, the design has some brilliant functionality.With so many objects to display, the trick was to show them all at eyelevel. Jarmund created stacked horizontal cases that areoffset from each other. That means the objects can be see from either side, from various angles, andfrom above and below.

Yet here’s where the irony comes in: The cases themselves are stacked to suggest a magpie’s nest. Jarmund chose the example of magpies because they’re famous for collecting any old bit of shiny junk that catches their eye.

And that leaves viewers to wonder: Is that all we are? Just magpies, piling up whatever’s shiny and expensive?

[Via PlusMood, which has more pics.]

The Magpie Nest
The Magpie Nest
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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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