UIC Barcelona to develop a ground-breaking exhibition planning programme for CaixaForum

21/02/19
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This innovative museum management project involves experts in museums, heritage and decision making.

UIC Barcelona to develop a ground-breaking exhibition planning programme for CaixaForum

La Caixa has commissioned UIC Barcelona to design and create a method and, subsequently, software to help them schedule exhibitions at all eight CaixaForum centres. The planning system will use objective criteria to measure the value of each exhibit. To do so, it will take into account statistical data and other aspects such as satisfaction levels, visitors and the cost of the exhibition. The tool will also make it possible to plan exhibitions based on their characteristics, profile and the venues in which they are due to be held. 

As part of this project, UIC Barcelona is responsible for analysing the line-up of exhibitions scheduled for all eight CaixaForums in Spain. To this end, they will use quantitative and qualitative data compiled by the Exhibitions Department of the Foundation’s Cultural Area. The purpose of the analysis is to facilitate the scheduling of exhibitions, determining the optimal amount of time between the close and inauguration of exhibitions at each centre. 

The team at UIC Barcelona includes Dr Marta Crispí, director of the Faculty of Humanities’ University Master’s Degree in Cultural Management; Dr Maria del Mar Casanovas, researcher at the UPC, and Dr Jaume Armengou, lecturer at the IESE Business School, both experts in multiple-criteria decision making methods; and alumnus and doctoral student Úrsula Valls, along with other specialists. Their job will be to analyse and develop the tool before February 2020, at which the project’s final report must be handed in. 

“What’s new is that the results will help better plan the seasons, taking into account the unique characteristics of each CaixaForum. The goal is therefore to develop a tool that enables decisions to be made based on objective quality data”, explains Dr Crispí. 

The partnership between UIC Barcelona and La Caixa emerged as a result of a final project submitted as part of the Faculty of Humanities’ University Master’s Degree in Cultural Management: “Planning a Season: MAUT for evaluating and planning museum's exhibitions programmes in Barcelona”. This project was completed during the 2016-2017 academic year, and participants included Úrsula Valls, Carolina Pereira and Laura del Portillo, directed by Dr Jaume Armengou and Dr Maria del Mar Casanovas.

According to doctoral student Úrsula Valls, “this project is the first of its kind in the cultural field, as never before has a decision making method been applied to the planning of temporary exhibitions or museum management, in general”.