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OMA form & function

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This is a presentation by Mark Campbell and Jess Mitchell given at the OMA Museums Leadership Diversity and Inclusion Symposium

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OMA form & function

  1. 1. Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity … … … … … questioning, reflecting, disrupting Mark Campbell & Jess Mitchell We aren’t going to teach you the 5 steps for reproducing design thinking — they don’t exist. There are common practices, tools, techniques, but we can’t teach you that meaningfully in 45 min. Instead we are going to do the work of inclusive design thinking with you — and if you have any questions about what we’re doing we ask you to write them down or keep them in your mind. We’re here because we want change — so if there’ll be change, presumably we already know we have to do something differently. We have to critique We have to openly share idea, We have to openly listen — to each other, to visitors, to naysayers. We might feel uncomfortable and that’s a moment to try to understand why. REFLECTION HOMEWORK: We want all of you to notice two things during our presentation that stick with you like barnacles. Maybe they make you uncomfortable, maybe they remind you of a specific place and time, or something you read. Maybe they just interest you. We’re going to ask you randomly toward the end of the presentation to share those 2 things if you’re comfortable. That is the beginning of change.
  2. 2. how we design matters; and every decision is a design decision For change to happen within any institution, the thing you want to change has to be a value; something you practice and continue to challenge and nurture. Inclusion is not a checklist item. It’s like breathing and bathing — you got to keep at it evermore. Nothing is neutral. every decision is a design decision that either contributes to or challenges existing structures of privilege, power, and presence. Each decision is an opportunity and a responsibility we have as leaders in these public spaces
  3. 3. Form ——————> Function Architectural Experiential Interactional We want to begin to show you just how relevant our design decisions are to the way we interact and “function” in our world. With this awareness, we hope you will SEE differently and begin to QUESTION, REFLECT, and DISRUPT in your own “designing” of your space, experiences, and interactions.
  4. 4. Architectural We begin with the architectural
  5. 5. “We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill
  6. 6. Pompidou Centre At first Parisians thought this building was an eyesore. They called it hideous, it was the Loch Ness Monster of Paris. The architecture "revolutionized museums, transforming what had once been elite monuments into popular places of social and cultural exchange, woven into the heart of the city.” from Wikipedia post-modern — high-tech — why is that important? Paris is a storied city of deep and formal culture — this was a departure from the storied past and a nod toward the future, toward multiculturalism, toward change. It was met at first with horror. Now, 40 years later 60 percent of the Pompidou's visitors are French. At the Louvre, in contrast, almost 70 percent of visitors are foreign. https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/02/22/515665662/at-40-paris-pompidou-center-is-still-an-unexpected-trip A picture of the outside of the Pompidou Centre in Paris
  7. 7. Nike Air Max Tinker Hatfield was inspired by the Pompidou to make the Nike Air-Max with the see-through sole. He saw the progressiveness, the modern, the DISRUPTION that was going on in Paris. He wanted to bring that to the shoe industry. His company and his colleagues originally thought he had gone too far — he almost got fired over the design… Broke the mould literally for what we imagined sneakers to be, and Tinker went on to lead at least 10 generations of the Nike Air Jordan, a shoe that transformed culture. “The line of sneakers is popular amongst many subcultures, for example Hip Hop, and the working class.” — Yes, even shoes can rattle us out of our comfortable zones, can make us QUESTION assumptions we’ve made. This was a shoe made popular by Hip Hop… The Nike Air Max shoe with a see-through panel in the heel
  8. 8. Detroit Institute of Arts Diego Rivera’s mural — he was a revolutionary Mexican artist. This mural shows the means of production; industrialization; it’s in motor city; modern advances (the V8 engine, vaccinations, technology, medicine); this was done during the great depression, (juxtaposed with faceless, multi-coloured working class, some of whom are faceless; their hands reaching up from rubble) there were strikes and workers shot in the Ford Motor Factory in Deerborn. Light comes into an indoor courtyard from above and from the open doors on either end that extend into the rest of the DIA. At the time, in the 30s, there was controversy — it was the depression and why was it a Mexican artist? Why not an American? It was called foolishly vulgar and unAmerican. The upper classes didn’t like the working classes invading their museum - The Detroit News In the 1950s they put a disclaimer on the mural calling Rivera’s politics detestable. The Diego Rivera mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts
  9. 9. Detroit Institute of Arts This is arts education for kids in Detroit These are the children and grandchildren of the working class from Motor City — 1/2 of the public schools have no music or arts education. They do have trips to the DIA. And the staff there are doing extraordinary things with very little. A museum employee speaks to children at the DIA
  10. 10. Experiential
  11. 11. We shape our experiences, and our experiences shape us
  12. 12. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History reflect on opening empathy — new discussions about what inclusion looks like sensing, feeling what it was like Images from the Middle Passage exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  13. 13. autism-friendly museum hours just as we can re-create spaces to make people experience discomfort — we can equally think about what’s needed to make people feel welcome? It’s more than *just* the programming, the artifacts, the exhibits — it’s the larger experience within the space that is created to make us feel a particular way. A child at a Natural Science Museum with headphones on
  14. 14. Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood SENse Family Packs The Museum’s SEN scheme strives to ensure that children with special educational needs gain access to learning opportunities. They include maps, toys to touch, activity suggestions and ear defenders. And this is something anyone can benefit from — anyone who has ever been in a public place with a child who is irritable, overstimulated, tired, uncontrollable — basically, a child. a backpack with a number of toys and aides sitting in front of it
  15. 15. Interactional
  16. 16. We shape our interactions, and our interactions shape us
  17. 17. Wakanda who is security? who is the expert? who is the visitor? Whose museum is it? — think of the DIA and the upper classes being upset by the working classes showing up in THEIR museum. Whose history is it? Whose artifacts? a main black character from black panther standing in a museum looking at artifacts while a white guard stands by and watches
  18. 18. National Portrait Gallery You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighbourhood. In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum. And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this. Michelle Obama https://www.truthrevolt.org/news/michelle-obama-minorities-dont-feel-welcome-museums relationship with the security guard in the museum — what about this guy? A small black girl stands behind a roped off section with mouth agape in front of a very large portrait of Michelle Obama as an older black man (security) stands by and watches.
  19. 19. Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity … … … … … Question — Reflect — Disrupt … … … … … Thinking — Feeling — Doing what are those 2 things you are thinking after this presentation? We could consider asking them if it falls into questioning, reflecting, or disrupting? or we can ask specifically how are they thinking, feeling, or planning on doing things differently?
  20. 20. Your work begins now Take-aways What are you going to do Monday? Spend 5-10 minutes in your groups doing this — dive in deeper to your own work. Everyone here should have something… Start with questioning
  21. 21. Who’s doing it? Who’s voice is heard? Who is seen? What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Who is this for? Where is the capital? Who stands to gain/benefit/succeed? Who’s missing? and why? THE EDGE Power — when does it circulate and where Begin with QUESTIONING — what ideas persist?
  22. 22. make mistakes Reflect and learn from them REFLECTING
  23. 23. thinking — feeling — doing Disrupt engagement first —> leads to collaboration openness to doing things differently —> leads to change and innovation ideas to share guest curators feedback >>> feedforward DISRUPTING
  24. 24. The edge ask, Who isn’t here? Who got excluded? today instead of thinking you’re brilliant — think who did i just exclude?

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