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Curating Climate

How can we exhibit climate – a phenomenon far removed from human perception? The Curating Climate collaboratory explores the dynamic and transgressive field of the ‘climate museum’.

Klimahuset Oslo

How can we exhibit climate – a phenomenon far removed from human perception? How do we narrate climatic change in a museum environment and initiate dialogue across its stakeholders and that locates it within the landscape of the UN’s Agenda 2030 Transforming our World? Various institutions have recently taken up this challenge. They range from established museums to new, emerging and experimental spaces. All attempt to promote debate and tell the stories we desperately need to connect scientific results to human lifeworlds.

This collaboratory will explore the dynamic and transgressive field of the ‘climate museum’. It will trace a unique and highly interdisciplinary space of encounter that connects the sciences and the humanities, academic and public spheres, research and action.


In the current environment disenchantment with the forms and channels used to communicate the challenges of climate change is growing. The scientific debate is often criticized for failing to provide a narrative able to relate to the lived experiences of a larger public. The mere distribution of facts is increasingly questioned in its ability to overcome complacency and to encourage change.

Museums in contrast provide communication rather than information, engaging in translation rather than simple transmission. They are also widely perceived as impartial actors with established patterns of transnational cooperation, an essential requisite for meeting the inherently global challenges climate change. However, museums must also be prepared to relinquish some of their more cherished notions, such as full curatorial authority and exclusive control over their own spaces. They will have to revisit their collections, exhibition designs and expert networks as well as develop their cross-societal appeal. Under these challenging terms, they could provide a readymade infrastructure for climate change communication and co-creation.

Core participants



  • Morien Rees, is a curator at Varanger Museum on Norway’s Arctic coast. He has worked widely as a practitioner in the museum sector since 1994 and is the chair of the ICOM working group on Museums and Sustainability.




Workshop with "The Shelter. Climate, migrations, heritage"

  • 16.6.2022. Curating Climate is part of "The shelter" proMuzeum Narodowe w Gdańskuject, headed by the National Museum in Gdańsk and funded by an ILN grant. Together with Anna Kraika and her project team the collaboratory hosted a workshop on "climate. migration. heritage". It took us to Oslo's Klimahuset (Climate house), the new "Control" exhibition at the Oslo Historical Museum and Tøyen hovedgård. Many thanks to our colleagues Anne Birkeland and Gro Birgit Ween. You can find out more about the project and our partner museum here.


Meet Curating Climate at the Environmental Humanities festival

  • 10.6.2022. The Curating Climate collaboratory iFyler Environmental Humanities weeks part of the Environmental Humanities Festival organised by OSEH. You can hear about our approach and meet us during the Lab talks on June 10th, 10-30-12h. Find the details here.

Research project granted: ClimateCultures

  • 21.12.2020. The Norwegian research council has Image may contain: Water, Mountain, Cloud, Water resources, Sky.granted funding for the research project ClimateCultures - Socionatural entanglements in Little Ice Age Norway (1500-1800). The project has developed out of the Curating Climate collaboratory and is headed by PI Dominik Collet. It will run from 2021-2025, entails a dedicated climate museums perspective and will hosts a series of climate narration labs at Oslo Klimahuset. More information here.


Special issue of Nordic Museology (2020/3): Curating Climate

  • Nordisk Museologi 2020/312.2020 The issue explores museums as contact zones of climate research, education and activism. It features an introduction by our team member Bergsveinn Thorsson as well as four fantastic papers reflecting the topics from our 2019 workshop.
  • The whole issue is available with open access here.


  • Bergsveinn Þórsson - Introduction
  • Sarah W. Sutton - Museums as agents and settings for climate hope
  • Jamie Larkin - Rethinking museum shops in the context of the climate crisis
  • Magdalena Puchberger, Nina Szogs - Curating soya. Trying, testing and tasting (for) a sustainable museum
  • Sameer Honwad et al. - Weaving strands of knowledge. Learning about environmental change in the Bhutan Himalayas


Klimahaus Bemerhaven - Symposium and Declaration

  • 24.9.2020 Our partner Filip Wätjen has organised a fantastic symposium in the Klimahaus Bremerhaven in Germany. It features contributions from many members of our team. They have also released the Bremerhaven Declaration on the Role of Museums in Addressing the Climate Crisis, which you can find here:


Klimahuset Oslo opens!


International workshop: Curating Climate -  Museums as ‘contact zones’ of climate research, education and activism.

Date: 28/29th October 2019

  • Curating Climate Workshop 2019The workshop explored the emerging, dynamic and transgressive field of the ‘climate museum’, by bringing together people working in the museum and heritage sector, researchers, artists, activists and policy makers. The workshop was hosted by Oslo’s new Klimahuset under the umbrella of Oslo Green Capital 2019. It welcomed over 70 participants from 15 countries to the botanical garden at Tøyen Oslo and the Nobel Peace Center. The event was co-funded by OSEH, HEI, the Naturhistorisk Museum and UiO:Energy.
  • You can find the booklet with schedule and abstract here.


The collaboratory is open for interested participants. To join our discussions, please contact:

Published Jan. 31, 2020 12:57 PM - Last modified Sep. 28, 2022 3:55 PM