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Young Shin Park

MA work

Branding the Museum: Culture and Consumption in the UK since 1980

Today is the era of the brand.

The brand is a part of our everyday life. It is so familiar that without careful observation, it is easy to overlook how much human society is surrounded by it. It is not surprising to see a person carrying a bag covered with its brand logo.

However when it comes to a bag with a museum logo on it, one can ask the question: Is the museum a brand now?

Indeed, the image of the museum seems to have changed. It used to be seen as boring, unapproachable and sometimes even arrogant. Today, the museum attracts people through nice shops, stylish cafes and eye-catching advertising in trendy magazines. The museum is more fun and approachable than it used to be, but still it has its own value as a cultural, educational institution. Or is this how the museum is branding itself?

The purpose of my dissertation is to investigate the issue of branding the museum, in particular, the relationship between consumer culture and the consumption of culture today, within Post-Modern theories and debate. The dissertation also looks at more specific social backgrounds which caused the commodification and increased demand for museums, especially in the UK since 1980. Attention is given to primary visual sources and objects which reflect the trend of museum branding.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2007

  • Branding the Museum: Culture and Consumption in the UK since 1980

    Today is the era of the brand.

    The brand is a part of our everyday life. It is so familiar that without careful observation, it is easy to overlook how much human society is surrounded by it. It is not surprising to see a person carrying a bag covered with its brand logo.

    However when it comes to a bag with a museum logo on it, one can ask the question: Is the museum a brand now?

    Indeed, the image of the museum seems to have changed. It used to be seen as boring, unapproachable and sometimes even arrogant. Today, the museum attracts people through nice shops, stylish cafes and eye-catching advertising in trendy magazines. The museum is more fun and approachable than it used to be, but still it has its own value as a cultural, educational institution. Or is this how the museum is branding itself?

    The purpose of my dissertation is to investigate the issue of branding the museum, in particular, the relationship between consumer culture and the consumption of culture today, within Post-Modern theories and debate. The dissertation also looks at more specific social backgrounds which caused the commodification and increased demand for museums, especially in the UK since 1980. Attention is given to primary visual sources and objects which reflect the trend of museum branding.

  • Experience

  • Internship, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2006-present; Internship, Hangaram Design Museum, Seould Arts Centre, Seoul, Korea, 2006; London Reporter, Website, Vogue Korea, 2005-present
  • Awards

  • RCA International Student Bursary Award, 2006; Matthew Wrightson Award, 2007