Sustainable use of exhibition design elements Sustainability



The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam mounts more than 15 temporary exhibitions and displays of work from the collection annually, partly in the original 19th-century building and partly in the modern extension. Depending on their nature, temporary exhibitions are designed in consultation with the curator and/or an exhibition designer. The average duration of an exhibition is 12-16 weeks. The design process then begins all over again for the following exhibition.


The sustainability and reuse of exhibition elements has been a topic of discussion in the cultural sector for some time. A number of initiatives for the reuse of exhibition materials have arisen, but the Stedelijk Museum has not yet found an ideal, structural solution. The reuse of material depends not only on aesthetic choices made by the exhibition curator, but also on the quality requirements for materials in relation to museum conditions. Another factor is that reuse can lead to cost savings.


To make our exhibitions more sustainable and avoid throwing away the bulk material used (such as partition walls), we are seeking the circular use of existing materials on the one hand and the use of circular/new materials on the other.


The assignment for startups:


Develop an innovative exhibition element (such as partition walls) according to circular principles. You can use new or existing materials provided they meet the quality requirements (see background).



– The startup must have experience with recycling methods and knowledge of the composition of materials and their effect on the climate and objects.

– A knowledge of exhibition architecture and working in museum conditions is an advantage.

– The possibility to reuse bulk material (such as partition walls) is an advantage.


Issued by:

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam