BIOTOPIA's mission is to explore, question and reconfigure the relationships between humans and other living beings.
BIOTOPIA will take a unique approach focusing on behaviours, activities and processes, featuring topics like "Eat", "Sleep" and "Reproduce"; themes that connect humans with other species.
Current status of the exhibition development
Currently, BIOTOPIA's curation team is developing a thematic and spatial exhibition concept that is based on the future museum's Masterplan. The work of BIOTOPIA's curators is supported by numerous local and international experts, for instance by the scientists of the Bavarian Natural History Collections.
Open labs enable visitors to actively participate and to engage with researchers, artists and scientists. Observatories introduce local and global bio- and ecosystems. In the children's museum, children up to six years old experience the perspectives of various animals. Temporary exhibitions will occupy a dedicated space in the lower level.
Curiosity: Igniting curiosity for nature and science.
BIOTOPIA CORE VALUES
EMPATHY: SEEING THE WORLD FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF OTHER LIVING BEINGS.
BIOTOPIA CORE VALUES
AGENCY: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE OF THE ENVIRONMENT.
A MUSEUM FOR EVERYBODY
BIOTOPIA is a museum for everybody: A platform for discussion and communication about the latest research, an interactive learning venue with public labs and varied programmes, an interdisciplinary space that bridges nature, culture, art and design. In doing so, the future museum can draw on the excellent resources of the Bavarian Natural History Collections – it contains, for example, the world’s largest butterfly collection, with 11 million species.
Prof. Dr. Michael John Gorman
BIOTOPIA Founding Director
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Grothe
Chairman of the BIOTOPIA Advisory Board
Chair of Neurobiology, LMU Munich
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Haszprunar
Member of the BIOTOPIA Advisory Board
Member of the BIOTOPIA Advisory Board
Science Journalist and TV-Host
PD Dr. Bettina Bölter
Research Fellow and Research Group Leader, LMU Munich
The current Museum Man and Nature opens. It is a makeshift solution: From the start, the museum struggles with significant challenges as many necessary infrastructural requirements do not exist. There is neither room for important touring exhibitions nor to explore vital questions regarding the future and our environment in the permanent exhibition.
Nevertheless, the museum enjoys great popularity. With almost 200,000 visitors annually, it is one of Germany's most visited natural history museums.
The area that previously belonged to Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-University and is situated in the northern wing of Nymphenburg Palace becomes available. Dating back to the 60s, it is not protected as a historic monument and lies right next to the existing Museum Man and Nature. By expanding and reconfiguring the current space, it is hence available for creating a new museum for the life sciences with international relevance.
On the initiative of S.K.H. Franz Herzog von Bayern and at the suggestions of the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and Art, an organisation comes into being that supports the realisation of the entreprise: Förderkreis BIOTOPIA - Naturkundemuseum Bayern e.V. It is officially founded on January 26th, 2012 during a launching ceremony. Ornithologist Dr. Auguste von Bayern becomes its chairwoman.
In the same year, the Förderkreis manages to collect the seed capital of 1 million euros thanks to the active support of the Bavarian population. Consequently, the Bavarian Parliament approves planning costs in the amount of 2.6 million euros.
The Bavarian government invites tenders for an international architectural competition. The process is conducted in close collaboration with Bavaria's capital Munich and the responsible district committee. The Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments and the Bavarian Palace Department closely monitor requirements regarding monument protection.
The new building replaces the former LMU-institute, which is not suited to host a museum. The section of the palace which accommodates the current Museum Man and Nature will be renovated according to monument protection regulations.
The award winner of the architectural competition is the prestigious Berlin-based agency Staab Architekten whose design complies best with the regulations of monument protection and the local architectural situation.
From there, the competition design is further developed to meet the requirements of the future museum as well as the historic area in the best possible way.
With Prof. Dr. Michael John Gorman, a prestigious and visionary founding director joins the project.
Prior to his position in Munich, Prof. Gorman founded Science Gallery Dublin and Science Gallery International. Their goal is to ignite creativity and discovery where science and art collide and to create a global university-linked network dedicated to public engagement with science and art. Prior to founding Science Gallery, Prof. Gorman was a lecturer in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford University and has held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University, Stanford University and MIT.
Together with the international agencies Lord Culture and Ralph Applebaum Associates and supported by local and international experts, Prof. Gorman develops a groundbreaking Masterplan, which defines the vision, mission and framework for the future museum.
Furthermore, the founding director sets up the project delivery team, the core office for planning the future museum.
In the presence of more than 400 guests the founding director introduces the new concept to the public.
Shortly after, the development of the exhibition designs begins and the architectural plans reach a new development state. During the ongoing development Staab Architekten have, among other things, worked on the segmentation and rhythm as well as the materiality and colours of the facade in close consultation with the Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments.
During an information event in September 2017 the new plans are presented to the public. More information events will take place further along in the planning process.
HAUTNAH started off a series of annual festivals which will explore the central themes of the future museum.
Which fabric is our future made of? The first BIOTOPIA Fest "HAUTNAH" (Skin Close) is dedicated to biosciences and material sciences in the context of fashion and design: From participative labs and workshops, to a children's programmes and exhibitions, panels and a fashion show.
During the development and construction phase, the BIOTOPIA LAB offers a first look into the future museum. Beyond that, BIOTOPIA will organise activities, events and an annual festival to stay in touch with its audience - and bring the BIOTOPIA vision to life long before its opening. Working with network partners BIOTOPIA will also launch mobile programmes throughout Bavaria.
Even prior to its opening, BIOTOPIA seeks to inspire curiosity for biology, environment and food. Consequently, the BIOTOPIA LAB will open its doors as an interim exhibition and programming space in the Botanic Garden Munich-Nymphenburg in 2020.
Furthermore, the Museum Man and Nature is to be closed in 2020. The BIOTOPIA LAB therefore offers a venue for the public until the museum reopens as BIOTOPIA.
The start of construction is currently planned for 2020 as well.
In June 2020, the Museum Mensch und Natur celebrated its 30th anniversary - unfortunately, due to the Corona Pandemic, however, without a celebration or other public event. Since the museum has become very popular with many visitors over the past 30 years, this anniversary is now being honored with a launch in Google Arts & Culture.
Use the search function to select the Museum Mensch und Natur and get the opportunity to explore selected stories and objects. In addition, you can even visit our museum virtually via various museum views. Take your time to look at some of the most popular objects and maybe you will feel like visiting the museum live again.
A provocative call for the transformation of science museums into "idea colliders" that spark creative collaborations and connections. Gorman focuses on the dialogue between scientists and artists, designers, policymakers, and the public and considers the questions, ideas and experiences of each visitor as an important resource for a new kind of museum experience. The book can be ordered online in English and provides exciting insights into the planned BIOTOPIA – Naturkundemuseum Bayern in Munich and giving forward-looking models of science engagement around the world.
The BIOTOPIA annual review 2019 is now available for download! It includes exciting insights behind the scenes, an interview with Dr. Auguste von Bayern, a review of the EAT festival and much more! So it's worth a glance and whoever is enthusiastic about BIOTOPIA's vision is welcome to donate and become a sponsor.
With the new Citizen Science and Arts project www.dawn-chorus.org, thousands of bird voices from all over the world were collected and mapped in a global sound map in the first upload phase in 2020. The project, initiated by the Nantesbuch Foundation and BIOTOPIA, has now been awarded the UN Decade of Biodiversity.