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Risk management : fashion and uncertainty
AbstractPreventive conservation is taught as if it were a systematic and scientific subject. This positive view neglects uncertainties and the fact that all fields of management are subject to fashion. One sign of being up to date with the latest management fashion is fluent use of the appropriate vocabulary. But the introduction of a new phrase may not mean a clearer definition of the appropriate way to think and act. ‘Integrated risk management’ is an example. The word ‘integrated’, used in museum, can mean a variety of things related to the extent of involvement and understanding within the organisation. In a specific field, such as pest management ‘integrated’ means following all of the necessary steps: setting action thresholds, monitoring and identification of pests, prevention and control. In risk assessment ‘integration’ can mean looking at the interactions between hazards, such as synergies between pollutants. Lighting in museums and historic houses involves all the meanings of the word ‘integrated’. Although it is easy to teach simple conservation guidelines for lighting it is also easy to overlook the uncertainties in the underlying principles. Fashionable technologies such as the microfader are adopted without a full appreciation of these uncertainties. Museum lighting solutions go through changes apparently driven by technology and legislation, but are also subject to the same influences that drive fashions in clothing and hairstyle. There is no simple solution to the balance between the demands of the conservator and the needs of the viewer. Moreover, even when all the immediate needs of objects, visitors and budget are taken into account, the lifetime of the solution is limited. No matter how good a gallery display looks now, it will go out of fashion. Although masquerading behind an academic format, this paper expresses a personal view making frequent use of first person pronouns.
Data da última atualização: 2017-03-22
DestaForma, Design e Multimédia
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