Freya Macleod

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

Reimagining the museum as a public space where ideas are produced for the future of the city.


Freya Macleod

Museum of Here is a place to produce, test and implement ideas for the future of the city. It aims to challenge the perception of the museum, presenting cultural experiences which act as productive tools for making democratic progress as well as creating joyful public spaces.

Occupying the 100-metre-long Tay Rope Works site in the West End of Dundee, this proposal utilises derelict industrial fabric of the past and celebrates the hands-on spirit of the rope works’ history. Museums have a complex role in society, originally used as power symbols with imperial collections.

Creating a more democratic version of the museum requires breaking down the walls that museums are founded on. The design concept for Museum of Here has been developed through a combination of three pathways, like strands of rope; The Walk, The Works The Wynd, and kilns; which act as a second geometric language that interrupt the linear site, each offering unique spatial processes in their interiors.

Each of these spaces are named after familiar museum experiences but designed to challenge the archetypical version.

Museum of Here works with real people and communities, through participatory exhibitions, such as ‘Museum in a Box’, to encourage citizens to have a say on urban issues, including net-carbon zero goals, and creating happier, more liveable cities for the future. 

Museum of Here: Featured Image

A computer-aided-design visual showing a chimney-shaped structure made out of fabric, depicting local citizens utilising the space and passing by the event.

Featuring the 'Gift Shop' kiln, this image shows the Museum of Here being used as both an urban corridor, connecting neighbourhoods with a walkway, and an example of it being used by the community at a beer tasting evening.

Museum of Here Project Video

This video briefly explains the project showing the final model and the concept behind the design.

Stage 1: Reading Room

Image contains a CAD based visual of a red and pink amphitheatre with a community gathering taking place.

The Reading Room is the democratic and political backbone of Museum of Here, where Citizens of Here can come to debate, discuss, learn, observe and reflect on the past. It includes an amphitheatre, a circular conversation space, an interactive map of the city and the creative in-residence studio.

Stage 2: Archives

Image contains a CAD based visual of a large roll of paper the size of the room which hangs off the wall for people to collage ideas onto.

The Archives encourage creative collaboration, and the space is an evolving palimpsest of ideas. The archives are messy and disorganised and nothing like the chests of archives that might be found in a museum. You are (literally) standing on a blank roll of paper.

Stage 3: Artefacts

Image contains a CAD based visual of community workshop with benches, tools, and a large spherical kiln. It shows people making things and fixing things together.

The Artefacts is a space that contains the only kiln in operation for firing, and the only kiln made from bricks. The Artefact is about the material impact of ‘Here’, and questions what is ‘precious’ and what is ‘rubble’. Here, demolition dust can be crushed into aggregate for concrete required for the construction of the city.

Stage 4: Gift Shop

Image contains a CAD based visual of a partially covered outdoor space that is being used for a community barbeque. This is on a scaffolding system and has a fabric roof.

The Gift Shop offers social transactions rather than monetary ones. It is essential that cities function socially, and this is the space to do so. This kiln contains cranks which control a flexible roof structure that creates shared outdoor roof space.

Stage 5: Façade

Image contains a CAD based visual of a market where locally made products can be sold, including a recycled brick dust stall with decorative pots and tiles.

The Façade is a version of participatory architecture where visitors and citizens are part of the building. This is a scaffolding that functions both to hold up the historic façade but also acts as a hand pulled elevator. This scaffold also creates trading opportunities, like this local market.

Model Making

Museum in a Box Exhibition

Spatial Diagram

Image contains a line drawing of the entire site with collage on top.