This week I led a workshop at the Royal Library of the Netherlands in the Hague (it’s called the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, or KB, in Dutch).
Just over thirty professionals from the library, archive, museum, and education sectors gathered to help the organisation develop its concept for the KB Atelier.
This will be a space for exploring, experimenting, and co-designing new formats for public engagement at the KB. The Atelier is in the business of finding fresh & valuable ways to celebrate and investigate the power of the written word for the 21st century, in collaboration with partners old and new.
I designed the workshop for Erik Boekesteijn and the brilliant team of KB staff assigned to this project, aiming to inspire debate, capture bright ideas, and build a community of interest and practice for further development of the Atelier concept.
The session combined design thinking tools and customised activities with elements designed to provoke debate about the future of our relationship to the written word.
The future is a difficult space for institutions – hard to predict or foresee, impossible to gather evidence from – and it was thrilling to challenge some of the Netherlands’ brightest cultural-sector minds as they contemplated possible futures for the written Dutch language.
The session served to illuminate the landscape through which the Atelier might take KB’s visitors and staff on future journeys. Now the business begins of designing and building the roads and bridges which will traverse that landscape.
Watch this space for more developments at the KB.