Disappearing Museums

Random Institute


( Concept )

Disappearing Museums is a radical experiment in architectural research that seeks to study how structures, both natural and manmade, can realize positive action against climate change as they disappear. It posits that by making a museum ephemeral, we can look closely at the nature of art institutions, reconsider the toll these take on the social and physical environment they occupy.

Disappearing Museums themselves are essentially drafts of buildings, realized in three dimensions and installed outside. These colossal blueprints, made of biodegradable material that naturally dissolves when exposed to rain, contrast with the sturdy, integrated, and permanent structures of typical museum architecture. As they disappear, they invite us to rethink how we inhabit, and give shape to, the world around us. By pushing architecture toward art, the Disappearing Museums project also explores the aesthetic potential of space in a context freed from the rules and reflexes that govern our usual ways of thinking.

The project also functions as a commentary on the history of museums and their various incarnations throughout the twenty-first century. Museums today largely sustain centuries-old values relating to the care, preservation, presentation, and interpretation of cultural artifacts and collections. In the context of Disappearing Museums, however, these fundamental responsibilities would be let go, essentially rendering the time-honored traditions of museums obsolete.

Project Team
Random Institute
Project Name
Disappearing Museums
Team Location
Zurich, Switzerland
Architecture & Design