Hi! I am Timur, 24 years old student. As a young guy I have some views which I want to recommend and disscuss.
I will start directly from the point. I wanted to visit National History Museum as I came to London. But when I visit NHM I found out that Museum is not so attractive. May be it's because of there are not direct sponsors, but some good exhibits are hidden in the corners and not standardized. For example, Prehistoric sloth is hidden, but I think it is best exmaple of this era. The mammal was so huge and you can easily confuse it with Dinosaur.
Most exhibits stand in the glass. It is understandable in case of protection. But I think it is better make replicas of exhibits (real bones need to be taken in special room with special temperature and conditions), take out glass from replicas, surround them with black background rounded at the right and left end. All exhibits of skeletones of dinosaurs, mammals should be represented in the same way and in logic order and people should go within the planned way.
In the hall I think it is very big room, and you don't know where to go. Just Imagine if you need to go UNDER the big sauropod or plesiosaur. You can do it because it is replica.
Dead animal dummies are very scary. Ok, keeping big animals costs huge sums. But what about insects? If they are insiede glasess or boxes, and all conditions are made for them, they could be very alive. Imagine room with a beehive and flowers around. And people are not aloud to get close to them. If small camera is inside the beehive and some about it, and people could zoom camera and watch live creatures, I think it will be really attractive.
I think earthquake imitation is made very good. But NHM need more such attractive examples and examples which I described above. What do you think?
There are wind, warm as examples of nature in the Earth related section.
Have you seen "The fifth element" movie? I think 80% of people have seen it
Do you remember design of the four nature elements? With permission of Luc Besson, NHM could copy this design. And if visiters are couple, you can make special place in the center where they can hug and something will happen.
Also there are interesting movies on the NHM website, but no connection to the real Museum. Even if there are on monitors (people just pass them), they are not so attractive. Imagine a lot of round projectors in different sections, which go down every 20-30 minutes and show these movies.
Or absolutely fantastic idea - paid attraction:
I personally don't think there's anything wrong with the museum as it is. It's my favourite place, although I've only been once because I live in the north-east of Scotland. As I say, you haven't been on a proper holiday to London if you haven't been to the Natural History Museum.
That said, I think a few of your proposals could work, but I'm not terribly sure about removing the glass or that last picture. Also, they already have insects - there's a formicary in the Creepy-Crawlies exhibition, with a webcam in the Kids Only section of the website, as well as flesh-eating beetles webcam. You might want to check them out, there're great!
Thank you for answer. You know what, I have been to one place in London near to UCL. There were animals bones too and they were in the glass with note on the bottom. And despite I like nature from childhood, it was boring for me too.
In modern world people usually don't like just read. They want to participate. And that is what I am saying. Personally, I think that it would be cool to turn it to something like alive 3D or 5D cinema, for example, with hologram of swimming or flying dinosaur.
There was some sort of augumented reality thing (don't know if they still have it) where you have a handheld device which you hold up to the stage, and through it you see a hominid or some other animals whilst David Attenborought narrates.
The NHM does have a couple of problems, first of all and thid is the big one, they have only a very tiny ammount of money they can spend on new exhibits, last I knew they had a budget of only £30,000 for the entire museum to buy new pieces unless they somehow get grants, which are very thin in the ground at the moment. The second they are trying to open up new spaces in order to have better displays, Darwin Centre 2 where all the insects are is freeing up space to open more displays. Incidently, the reason why DC2 look so sparce is because they ran out of money for it,
I do wish they had more signs on the floor pointing you to differant things, I never knew where the spirit collection was let alone DC1, as far as having a more hands on museum, its almost impossible these days, health and safety would have a field day, 3.6 million people touching stuff and having to maintain it, its just not going to happen.
They do have a large butteryfly house in the gardens during the summer months in the grounds in front of the NHM.
I have to admit as a huge fan of the NHM I would not like to change it too much, I really would prefer to see the real thing rather then a replica.
P.s Megatherium is one of my favourates and at the end of my favourate gallerys, the Ichthyosars.
I agree with you in terms of way of funding. As Museum is fully free and depends on donations, it doesn't have stable profit.
Why I said about replica, it just because of millions of people who visit museum. In many cases you need glass to protect exhibits, it isn't something new. But sometimes you can't make normal photo when something inside a box of glass.
Persanally I think, there a lot of way of possible modernisations ( Ive just remembered moving roads like in airports. You need just stand.). But it depends on funding and wishes.