After 16 months of work, the Casa da Memória in Guimarães was inaugurated on Monday 25th April. 2016. This permanent exhibition is large and complex. It is not a museum in any traditional sense, but a space dedicated to the Municipality of Guimarães, the character of its people, culture, industry, territory and history. The diversity of its themes is reflected in the diversity of the design solutions.
From the outset the vision for the permanent exhibition of the Casa da Memória was that it would deviate from traditional expectations, both in terms of its curatorial philosophy and in its visual presentation. The aim was to construct and reveal a plurality of narratives that were capable of expressing the diversity in which the city is experienced, understood and remembered by its inhabitants. In that sense it was not a classic exhibition museology that we were sketching out, in which the audience could be expected to find unique objects of value, ordered and displayed as historical artefacts and recounting a uniform historical narrative. Instead the aim was to reflect the ways in which histories are constantly interpreted and reinterpreted – and how they are remembered. The objects and displays that the exhibition uses are not meant to be simply informative, they also act as triggers that allow visitors to recall their own associations and identify personal histories.
The exhibition is divided between two independent spaces (halls) – the two original buildings of the old factory in which the permannet exhibition is housed. Both halls are similar in size but with different structural characteristics. One is devoted to the them of 'territory' and the other to 'community'.
Design team: Rita Carvalho, João Oliveira, Pedro Pina, Gustavo Fernandes, with additional contributions from Afonso Borges and Sofia Rato. Production: Guarnição
Inauguration: 25th April 2016
Client: Câmara Municipal de Guimarães