Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Under the spell of metaphors: Investigating the effects of conduit and container metaphors on museum experience

Ntzani, Dimitra ORCID: 2015. Under the spell of metaphors: Investigating the effects of conduit and container metaphors on museum experience. Curator: The Museum Journal 58 (1) , pp. 59-76. 10.1111/cura.12098

[thumbnail of NtzaniMetaphors.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (298kB) | Preview


In 1979, Michael Reddy investigated the effects that “conduit” metaphors have on human communication. His research illustrates that people tend to conceptualize feelings, thoughts, or ideas as substances “transmitted” from one agent to another through a “conduit,” or as loosely “contained” in ambient spaces. Following a cognitive‐linguistic approach, this article investigates the effects that “conduit” and “container” metaphors have on visitors’ experiences in museums; it presupposes that our conceptual system is metaphorical in nature and that language expresses the metaphors we use to think and act in everyday life. This article acknowledges that conduit and container metaphors shape museum communication practices and sets out to identify their effects on museum objects and museum architecture—two essential material conditions that shape visitors’ experiences. To do so, this article traces expressions of transmission metaphors in professional museum discourses—particularly those of international museum organizations—and identifies their effects on museum practice. It draws attention to the conflicts that these metaphors trigger in museum debates. Furthermore, it highlights the possibility of enhancing their positive effects, and of weakening their negative ones, by building new metaphorical frames for museum theory and practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Publisher: Wiley/ Rowman & Littlefield
ISSN: 0011-3069
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 10 September 2014
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 15:25

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics