Director Pippa Nissen, Senior Associate Marie-Lise Oulmont and Associates Andrea Hickey and Kate Coghlan of Nissen Richards Studio are leading a new postgraduate teaching unit at London Metropolitan University. The unit challenged students to design a ‘Museum for Now’. Here is one of the responses to that challenge.

Museums have faced many challenges and changes in recent years, and this is still undergoing. This rapid transformation enabled new ways of delivering culture and more options are now available to us. Finding a new way of getting to people has been a crucial step; and part of this being more interactive and engaging, not only for kids. Our habits have been changed and many of us realise how important culture is as an element in our life.

A Museum for Now should accommodate not only a collection of interesting objects but it should as well enrich a cultural life of a local community. To deliver a welcoming and comfortable space for users visiting an exhibition, meeting with friends for lunch at the roof terrace or evening lectures and talks. The visitors can also have an insight into local history and learning from the past. To experience culture you often have to travel to city centre. What if the cultural institution could be moved outside the centre? Into the greener areas of Hackney. People might enjoy culture and nature as one.

In the contemporary world, where differences between people and countries are getting bigger, culture can act as a 'common ground’ – a unifying factor. Culture has the power to rise above divisions.