KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Lifestyle, Placemaking, Public Relations, Travel & Tourism

Museums as catalysts for change

15 March 2024

The River & Rowing Museum Uses Flooding to Start to Lead the Conversation on Healthy Rivers 

In the aftermath of recent storms, as The Thames burst its banks, the River & Rowing Museum in Henley was surrounded by floodwater, cut off from the town with staff and visitors unable to get inside.  

As part of our ongoing campaign with The River & Rowing Museum, we worked with museum Director Steve O’Connor, to articulate the museum’s position as a champion for a healthy well-managed Thames in key media reaching national, specialist and regional audiences. 

Coverage included an in-depth interview with Steve in The Guardian, the Architect’s Journal and Museum ID, and BBC and ITV coverage across the local regions.  Our campaign helped the museum speak to a broader audience and start to influence discussions on the importance of maintaining healthy rivers for future generations.

Our work with the River & Rowing Museum serves as an example of how museums have the power to unite communities and play an important role in helping us understand and shape our collective futures.  

Museums are increasingly becoming influential advocates in societal and environmental conversation. As society grapples with pressing environmental issues, museums like the River & Rowing Museum are perfectly positioned to be powerful catalysts for change. 

If you would like more information about our work, drop us a line at hello@kallaway.com

Thankfully for the museum, when architect David Chipperfield designed the building, it was created to float above the ground on pillars which elevated it above the worst of water.  This design coupled with the fact the museum is surrounded by meadows and riverbanks helped save it from major damage.  The Museum and its environment are a powerful illustration of the importance of place-appropriate building design and ecological land management.