Exhibition on Coffee -- Looking for IDEAS

Nina Moellers's picture

Dear H-Material Culture-community,

the Deutsches Museum in Germany is currently in its early planning stages for a special exhibition on coffee. "Cosmos Coffee" (working title) is scheduled to be shown at the museum at the end of 2018/early 2019 and will later travel to other national and international museums. As the preliminary title says, the exhibition aims at presenting this fascinating beverage in all of its facets, profiting from the many disciplinary fields represented at the Deutsches Museum - and in extension the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, both situated in Munich, Germany.

The exhibition will approach the topic from the double perspective of the senses and the sciences.In preparation of the rough concept to be included in the first stage of the tender for an external design team, we are currently trying to gather as many ideas, stories, perspectives etc. as possible! Any ideas, topics, examples, material and so on that you may deem interesting would be very helpful at this point and is very much appreciated!

So what are we looking for exactly?
  • interesting aspects/stories/facts in any of the subsections (see list below)--> basically, we are looking for stories that have not been told in exhibitions or at least not from a particular perspective or in much detail
  • ideas for installations, scenaries, interactives and of course objects that you may have or would like to see in an exhibition
  • objects that people may not expect in an exhibition on coffee, but which do in fact tell an interesting (maybe twisted) story
  • experts/cooperation partners/research institutes etc. that work with and on coffee
  • exhibition/collections/online portals/other learning tools that (at least partly) deal with coffee (or other food such as tea, chocolate etc.) and you find interessting/well done/inspiring...

To give you some context, these are the subsections of the exhibition as they currently stand (not fixed!):

  • Globalisation
  • Origins
  • Shortage & Surrogates
Chemistry and Nutrition Sciences
  • Flavour, aroma & quality control
  • Ingredients
  • Medicine and health
  • Innovations and patents
  • Harvesting
  • Roasting
  • Brewing
  • Packing & recycling
Environment and Ecology
  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • Cultivation
  • Raw materials & waste
  • Trade & transport
  • Taxes, speculation & monopolies
  • Fair Trade
  • Advertising
Cultural Sciences
  • Drinking culture(s)
  • Gender
Art and Media
  • Coffee in art & literature
  • Design

Thanks so much for the time to read this and help us!


Dr. Nina Möllers

Academic Researcher and Curator
Deutsches Museum/Rachel Carson Center

Categories: Query