Making the Inclusive Museum

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Making the Inclusive Museum

January 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

Over the past decade, many art museums in the United States have demonstrated their commitment to DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion) through initiatives such as the diversification of their staff and boards, programs for people with disabilities, and exhibitions featuring the work of minority artists. However, museums are just beginning to consider the spatial consequences of accessibility beyond code compliance by improving their facilities to better meet the needs of the diverse publics—people of different ages, genders, races, religions, and abilities—that they are hoping to attract.

Making the Inclusive Museum intends to enrich the ongoing conversation about these timely issues by inviting members of JSA/MIXdesign to share the MIXmuseum Study, consisting of five years of research derived from collaborations with the Queens Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the San Diego Museum of Art to understand the common and conflicting inclusive design challenges they face. Panelists from some of these institutions will discuss the outcome of this study, a toolkit of design recommendations, prototypes, and guidelines for improving galleries as well as non-gallery spaces (entry sequences, reception, restrooms, and multi-purpose event spaces).

The program will begin with a presentation from JSA/MIXdesign principal Joel Sanders that situates these contemporary challenges in a historical context: from the first purpose-built nineteenth-century civic museums to the advent of the twentieth-century “white cube,” reconciling the needs of the embodied spectator with practical considerations like security, conservation, and crowd control has been an ongoing dilemma. Following Sanders’ presentation, JSA/MIXdesign associate director Seb Choe will share key findings from the MIXmuseum Study generated through an engagement process that used surveys, interviews, and workshops to gather feedback from participating museum stakeholders and visitors.

The program will close with a panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Ignacio G. Galán with representatives from four museums who participated in the study.


The Architectural League
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003 United States
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