Co-creating new winter traditions: creating a future proof concept for the winter exhibition of the Dutch Open Air Museum

The Dutch Open Air Museum (Nederlands Openluchtmuseum) is widely popular in The Netherlands; it appears in the top 10 most visited museums of the country. The museum holds a large collection of historical buildings and artifacts to showcase the everyday life of the past in the Netherlands. It is also the host of the Canon, a permanent exhibition containing the 40 most influential historical happenings in Dutch history.

In the winter, the museum opens up for 6 weeks with special programs, food, and events in which visitors get to experience traditional dutch winters of the past. This concept has been popular for more than 10 years, but increasing societal demand for inclusivity & social cohesion requires the museum to re-think its vision to remain future-proof for years to come.

Co-creating an iconic winter exhibition

In two Treehouse co-creation workshops, we explored new opportunities for the winter exhibition. In the first workshop, we reflected on the current setup of the winter exhibition together with internal and external stakeholders. In the second workshop, we invited a diverse group of experts to join us in creating new ideas for a future-proof concept. Throughout these workshops we gathered different insights:

  • The winter exhibition needs to be much more inclusive; there are many different interpretations of ‘dutch winters’.
  • Whatever happens in the exhibition, people need to feel they are connecting with others; relatives, or strangers.
  • When you are visiting the museum, it needs to feel like you become part of it; visitors are actively involved in the exhibition.

Celebrating the winter together

With the insights we collected from the workshops we created an attractive storyline and new strategy for the winter exhibition for 2022 and beyond. Centered around exploration, celebration, and co-creation the new winter exhibition will move from ‘Experiencing the winters of the past’ to ‘Celebrating the winter together’; an inclusive concept for all and platform for future winters at the Dutch Open Air Museum.

Let’s meet, celebrate & connect at the winter exhibition in 2022!

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Martijn Pater

Founder

Celia de Vries - Fronteer

Celia de Vries

Strategist

Babke Hogenhuis

Senior Strategist

Elisabeth den Heeten

Connector