Congregant Space in Museums


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This is a powerpoint about the importance of group interaction in public spaces especially museums. It follows a number of papers about space in CIVILIZING THE MUSEUM: the Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian

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Congregant Space in Museums

  1. 1. CONGREGANT SPACE * Elaine Heumann Gurian HOW MUSEUM SPACE CONSIDERATIONS CAN HELP BUILD COMMUNITY * Gurian, Elaine Heumann, “Function Follows Form”, Civilizing the Museum, Routledge, London, 2006, p.96
  2. 2. BASIC IDEA – PERHAPS -- <ul><li>Modern museum architecture has been a mix of established function and aesthetic practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Museum programs are a mix of object based, curator focused, presentations and a desire to transfer power to the audience and become more customer responsive. </li></ul><ul><li>Some museums are sincerely interested in serving as a center for civil community activity. They use words like meeting ground, forum, town square. </li></ul><ul><li>City planners, theoreticians (Jane Jacobs, New Urbanists, etc.) have presented theories to create more livable and humane cities. </li></ul><ul><li>Can museums that are interested in inclusion use the theories associated with building humane cities to create spaces and programs that build community? </li></ul><ul><li>If so, what are the spaces, the space designs needed? And how do museums incorporate these when looking at building or modifying their physical plant? </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  3. 3. WORDS <ul><li>COMMUNITY </li></ul><ul><li>CONGREGANT </li></ul><ul><li>SPACE </li></ul><ul><li>KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY </li></ul><ul><li>LIVABILITY “PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST” </li></ul><ul><li>URBAN REGENERATION </li></ul><ul><li>SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT </li></ul><ul><li>SPRAWL </li></ul><ul><li>URBAN PLANNING </li></ul><ul><li>ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>MUSEUM AND ATTRACTION </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  4. 4. PLACES TAILORED FOR LEVELS OF INTERACTION* <ul><li>FAMILY = HOME </li></ul><ul><li>WORK = OFFICE </li></ul><ul><li>ACQUAINTANCES = CLUB </li></ul><ul><li>STRANGERS = MALL, MUSEUM, ETC. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of these spaces are used by more than one group, i.e. families going to museums together. </li></ul><ul><li>* Oldenburg, R. (1989). The Great Good Place. New York, Paragon House. </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  5. 5. CONGREGANT PLACES <ul><li>Crossroads of transportation like railway stations and airports; </li></ul><ul><li>Religious gathering places like churches, mosques, and synagogues; </li></ul><ul><li>Places of commercial transactions large and small such as: shopping malls, markets, public streets lined with shops, the shops themselves; </li></ul><ul><li>Places organized for food and socializing such as restaurants, pubs, and bars; </li></ul><ul><li>Places used for recreation such as bathing beaches and parks; </li></ul><ul><li>Civic buildings that are organized to do the peoples work such as judicial courts and town halls; </li></ul><ul><li>Places that hold access to information and experiences . The later include libraries and archives, theatres and concert halls, athletic arenas; </li></ul><ul><li>And public spaces used for celebrations like parades and pageants. </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  6. 6. SPACES THAT ARE OFTEN DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE COMMUNITY <ul><li>LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>ZOOS </li></ul><ul><li>SOME AIRPORTS AND TRAIN STATIONS </li></ul><ul><li>SHOPPING MALLS </li></ul><ul><li>ATTRACTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>MIXED USE ATHLETIC STADIUMS </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  7. 7. THEORIES ABOUND <ul><li>LIVEABLE CITIES </li></ul><ul><li>POST MODERNISM </li></ul><ul><li>EDGE CITIES, GATED COMMUNITIES </li></ul><ul><li>CIVIL SOCIETY </li></ul><ul><li>POROCITY </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  8. 8. THEORIES ABOUND 1 <ul><li>NEW URBANISM ( ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WALKABILITY, BIKING, INCREASED PUBLIC HEALTH </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>REDUCTION ON AUTO RELIANCE, ROAD BUILDING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>INCREASED DENSITY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PUBLIC TRANSPORT, REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MIXED USE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CHOICE IN HOUSING TYPES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>QUIET NEIGHBORHOODS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WALKING ACCESS TO RECREATION, GREEN SPACE, SHOPS, CULTURAL ASSETS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>REDUCTION IN POLUTION, LAND USE, PROTECTION OF GREEN SPACE </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  9. 9. THEORIES ABOUND 11 <ul><li>JANE JACOBS* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MIXED USE SPACE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RESIDENCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WALKABILITY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MIXED ECONOMIC SPACE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>24 HOUR USE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>REGULARS, LURKERS, ETC. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SERENDIPITOUS USE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Jacobs, J. (2002). The death and life of great American cities. New York, Random House. </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  10. 10. CIVIL SOCIETY A PERSPECTIVE III * <ul><li>Civil society can be weak or strong, depending on past history of involvement. Focus is on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social equity, social inclusion, managing diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public spaces, recreation, festivals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Livable cities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These sectors are not completely isolated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business leaders are also civil society leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil society leaders run for office, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But the sectors do not naturally collaborate – </li></ul><ul><li>they need help to create collective projects </li></ul><ul><li>Maxwell, Judith, “Sustainable Cities”, , Copyright © 2004 Canadian Policy Research Networks, Inc. All rights reserved . </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  11. 11. THEORIES ABOUND IV- CEDAR* <ul><li>&quot;CEDAR,&quot; helps a community understand, locate and evaluate its open spaces. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cultural, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ecological, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>developmental, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>agricultural </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and recreational. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Setting such sites aside as cultural/historical components of a community’s Green space design network keeps significant sites alive for generations and accommodates the cultural desires of the future. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural resources also include viewsheds and viewpoints — visual treasures that are rarely accommodated in conventional planning processes. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  12. 12. FUNCTIONS IN MUSEUMS <ul><li>ENTERING </li></ul><ul><li>CHECKING </li></ul><ul><li>TICKETING </li></ul><ul><li>SITTING </li></ul><ul><li>STROLLING </li></ul><ul><li>LOOKING </li></ul><ul><li>WATCHING </li></ul><ul><li>LURKING </li></ul><ul><li>EATING </li></ul><ul><li>SHOPPING </li></ul><ul><li>LEARNING </li></ul><ul><li>INTERACTING </li></ul><ul><li>MANIPULATING </li></ul><ul><li>READING </li></ul><ul><li>CONTEMPLATING </li></ul><ul><li>GRAVITATING, CONGREGATING </li></ul><ul><li>TOILETING </li></ul><ul><li>EXITING </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  13. 13. SPACE CONSIDERATIONS <ul><li>SCALE </li></ul><ul><li>MATERIALS </li></ul><ul><li>SIZE </li></ul><ul><li>LIGHT </li></ul><ul><li>ACOUSTICS </li></ul><ul><li>HVAC </li></ul><ul><li>CONSERVATION </li></ul><ul><li>ORIENTATION </li></ul><ul><li>WAYFINDING </li></ul><ul><li>ADJACENCIES </li></ul><ul><li>FEEL </li></ul><ul><li>CAPACITY </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESSIBILITY </li></ul><ul><li>COST </li></ul><ul><li>ZONING </li></ul><ul><li>STYLE RESTRICTIONS </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  14. 14. INTERPRETIVE STYLE CONSIDERATIONS <ul><li>WELCOMING </li></ul><ul><li>VISITOR SERVICES </li></ul><ul><li>ADMISSION SEQUENCE </li></ul><ul><li>SCHOOL GROUP/ TEACHING IN SPACES </li></ul><ul><li>PROTECTION/SECURITY </li></ul><ul><li>LANGUAGE IN LABELS </li></ul><ul><li>INTERACTIVE DEVICES </li></ul><ul><li>MULTI-MEDIA </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESS TO COLLECTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>EATING IN GALLERIES </li></ul><ul><li>MULTI-DISCIPLINARY – I.E PERFORMANCES </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  15. 15. MUSEUMS NICE TO HAVE OR ESSENTIAL ? * “The Potential of Museum Learning, The Essential Museum”, in Lord, Barry, Manual of Museum Learning, Alta Mira, 2007, p. 20ff. <ul><li>NICE TO HAVE – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>THE MUSEUM HAS THE INTELLECTUAL POWER </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ORGANIZED TO ANSWER A CURATORS QUESTION, WITH THE VISITOR AS A RECEIVER </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DIFFICULT TO GET ACCESS TO MATERIAL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND LABELS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HOURS TO MATCH STAFF NEEDS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CHARGES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USED AS A SPECIAL DAY OUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AWE INSPIRING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MIXED USE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FEELS LIKE PRIVATE/EXCLUSIVE SPACE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ESSENTIAL – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>THE VISITOR HAS THE POWER. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ORGANIZED TO ANSWER A VISITORS QUESTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SYSTEMS OF EASY RESEARCH </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EASY ACCESS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HOURS MATCH NEED </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FREE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ABILITY TO VISIT OFTEN AND QUICKLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MULTI-GENERATIONAL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MULTI-CULTURAL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WELCOMING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUSY BUT WITH INTIMATE SPACES </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UNDERSTANDABLE WAYFINDING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MIXED USE FEELS LIKE PUBLIC SPACE </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  16. 16. NPR HAS A STORY – WILLIAM WHYTE <ul><li>Design, inside and outside, affects human moods and behavior. Shape, placement, texture, lighting, and space... building design can signal us: &quot;Come in, be at home...&quot;, or &quot;Do business,&quot; or &quot;Come, eat quickly, then go away...&quot; etc. There are film studies of behavior in public places and people who are &quot;readers&quot; of buildings. There's also a lab at UCLA Berkeley where architects have developed the well respected &quot;pattern language&quot; they follow when they begin to design. One of the most innovative architects who studied the relationship between buildings and behavior was the late William Whyte. He even observed the way we move chairs when we sit. Whyte's theories about how to create safe and friendly spaces, yet avoid the &quot;undesirables&quot; are still practiced today. </li></ul><ul><li>Whyte, William H., CITY: Rediscovering the Center - Doubleday 1988. </li></ul><ul><li>Whyte, William H., &quot;The Humble Street.&quot; Historic Preservation. January, 1980. pp. 34-41. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>'the city remains a magnificent place to do business, and that is part of the rediscovery of the center. While we are losing a lot of functions that we used to enjoy, we are intensifying the most important function of all--a place for coming together.' </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  17. 17. <ul><li>AAM, Excellence and equity, Education and the Public Dimension of Museums , American Association of Museums, Washington, D.C., 1992. </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander, Christopher, A New Theory of Urban Design , Oxford University Press, New York, 1987c. </li></ul><ul><li>Alexander, Christopher, Notes on the Synthesis of Form , Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA., 1964. </li></ul><ul><li>Beatley, Timothy and Manning, Kristy, The Ecology of Place , Island Press, Washington DC, 1997 </li></ul><ul><li>Darragh, Joan and Snyder, James S., Museum Design, Planning and Building for Art , Oxford University Press, New York, 1993c. </li></ul><ul><li>Deasy, C. M., Designing Places for People, A Handbook for Architects, Designers, and Facility Managers , Whitney Library of Design, New York, 1985c. </li></ul><ul><li>Ellin, Nan </li></ul><ul><li>Etzioni, Amitai, The Spirit of Community , Touchstone, New York, 1992c. </li></ul><ul><li>Falk, J. H., J. J. Koran, L. D. Dierking and L. Dreblow. 1985. Predicting visitor behavior. Curator. 28(4): 326-332. </li></ul><ul><li>Foucault, M. 1970. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (trans. A. Sheridan), London: Tavistock. </li></ul><ul><li>Fulton, William. 1996. New Urbanism: Hope or Hype for American Communities? Lincoln, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Gurian, Elaine Heumann, “Function Follows Form” --- </li></ul><ul><li>Gurian, Elaine Heumann, “Threshold Fear”, </li></ul><ul><li>Hiss, Tony, The Experience of Place, </li></ul><ul><li>Hoyt, Charles K., More Places for People, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York, 1983c. </li></ul><ul><li>Jacobs, Jane. 1961. The Death and Life of Great American Cities . New York: Random House. </li></ul><ul><li>Katz, Peter. 1994. The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community . New York: McGraw-Hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Kemmis, Daniel, The Good City and the Good Life, Houghton Mifflin, 1995c. </li></ul><ul><li>Konigsburg, E. L., From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler , New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972c. </li></ul><ul><li>Kunstler, James Howard. Home from Nowhere: Remaking Our Everyday World for the Twenty-First Century . New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996c. </li></ul><ul><li>Matthews, Geoff, Museum and Art Galleries, Design & Development Guides , Butterworth Architecture, Oxford, 1991c. </li></ul><ul><li>Oldenburg, Ray. The Great Good Place . New York: Paragon House, 1989c. </li></ul><ul><li>Pindell, Terry, A Good Place to Live, Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1995c. </li></ul><ul><li>Putnam, Robert D. Bowling Alone, The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York: Simon & Schuster. 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Putnam, Robert, Bowling Alone, Putnam, Robert D. 1995. Bowling Alone, Journal of Democracy. 6:1, Jan, 65-78. </li></ul><ul><li>Weil, Steven, Making Museums Matter , Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Weisman, Leslie Kanes, Discrimination by Design: A feminist Critique of the Man-Made Environment, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1992c. Drucker, Peter, F. 1998. Introduction: Civilizing the City. In Hesselbein, Frances, ed., et. al., The Community of the Future . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. page 6. </li></ul>BIBLIOGRAPHY Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  18. 18. Maxwell, Judith, “Sustainable Cities”, , Copyright © 2004 Canadian Policy Research Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. <ul><li>Bradford, Neil, 2003. Cities and Communities that Work: </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative Practices, Enabling Policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bradford, Neil, 2002. Why Cities Matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity, 2003. Missing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities: Ontario’s Urban Prosperity Gap </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Myles, John et al, 2000. Neighbourhood Inequality in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Canadian Cities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Polese, Mario and Richard Stren, Eds. 2000. The Social </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of Cities, Diversity and the Management of Change U of T Press </li></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  19. 19. BOOKS I SHOULD READ NEXT <ul><li>Alexander, Christopher, Ishikawa, Sara, Silverstein, Murray, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, Center for Environmental Structure Series , </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Town change slowly incrementally by use and these uses build community. The space therefore needs to be responsive. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kahn, Louis in Alessandra, ed. 1991. Louis I. Kahn; Writings, lectures, Interviews. New York: Rizzoli International: p. 266. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Street is a community room. The meeting house is a community room under a roof.” </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  20. 20. Next Books 2 -- Great Streets by Allan B Jacobs <ul><li>Jacobs analyzes those factors that make streets great: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>buildings of similar height, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interesting facades, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trees, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>windows that invite viewing, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>intersections, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beginnings and endings, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stopping places and, to be sure, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>space for leisurely walking. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are necessary qualities, but, as Jacobs warns, do not ensure a great street. “ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A final ingredient--perhaps the most important--is necessary . . . the magic of design.&quot; </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space
  21. 21. ANOTHER NICE QUOTE -- AND FROM A SURPRISING SOURCE! <ul><li>“ The right sort of surroundings can create a community spirit…. Good communities are usually small enough for people to get together or organise the things they want. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Charles, Prince of Wales, A Vision of Britain: A Personal View of Architecture , Doubleday 1989: p.96-97. </li></ul></ul>Elaine Heumann Gurian Congregant Space