The Architecture, Culture and Tectonics research group has developed research over many years in conjunction with museums to enhance visitors’ understanding of architectural environments and improve their experiential learning.

In 2011, Professor Jonathan Hale and Dr Wang Qi, worked with the Paleozoological Museum of China (PMC), to develop and refine three unique research principles:

  1. How can architectural environments be used to determine ways to exhibit whilst effectively telling a story
  2. How to encourage visitors, particularly children, to be hands-on during their visit but also 'minds-on' to achieve experiential learning
  3. How to use redundant buildings or spaces to create narratives of old and new functions

Dr Wang Qi worked closely with PMC for over four years to demonstrate the effectiveness of these principles by borrowing artefacts from PMC to form part of the critically acclaimed Dinosaurs of China exhibition at Wollaton Hall and Lakeside Arts Gallery in 2017.

The exhibit was incredibly successful. It:

  • Attracted more than 130,000 paying visitors which contributed to a 4.1% increase in Nottingham’s visitor economy in 2017, as reported by the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor
  • Saw 28,000 people participate in public lectures, schools programmes and family engagement activities
  • Led to Nottingham City Council reviewing its museum strategy for Wollaton Hall, as announced in 2019 as part of the £1.3 million transformation project for the hall 
  • Acted as a demonstrator to global museum professionals leading to the expansion of the Continual Professional Development (CPD) training

The research was central to international CPD training, delivered with partners in China including the PMC and Donghe Exhibition Industry Alliance. These courses reached hundreds of museum professionals and inspired new ways of curation. One delegate appointed Dr Wang Qi as a consultant to embed his research principles into the design brief of a new museum in Shenzen. The brief focused on the spatial narrative rather than architectural design.



Collaborate with us 

Pioneering research

Explore our Architecture, Culture and Tectonics research group

Explore group
Find an expert

Search for an engineering or architecture expert

Find an expert
Work with us

Access resources to collaborate, innovate and grow your business

Access resources