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Reimagining Children’s Museums in the 21st Century


fireworks of glass childrens museum indianapolis design sculpture artMetLife Foundation & Association of Children’s Museums Announce Design Teams and Three-Year Project to Position Field as Vibrant and Strong Community Anchors

The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) has announced a new project that is intended to ensure that children’s museums act as solid community anchors in the future. The ACM say they have identified key areas that need to be addressed in order to ensure the way that such museums are impacted remains positive.

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In order to do this, ACM have chosen four design teams to become involved with the three year project, which is supported by MetLife Foundation.

“It’s part of our field’s culture to be proactive, ” said Janet Rice Elman, ACM executive director.

“On the horizon, we have identified five areas — Community, Design, Collaboration, Change and Sustainability — that will fundamentally impact children’s museums and the families they serve.”

According to ACM, children’s museums not only represent one of the “fastest growing sectors in the USA”, but are also big players in terms of informal learning environments that reflect the diversity of the communities they’re established in.

The chosen design teams were carefully selected from more than a dozen international applicants and will concentrate on the new designs appropriate to the urban areas in which the museums are situated. This will mean that the architecture, media and technology design will all be reimagined in order to reflect their locality and culture.

The design teams are: Levenbetts of New York City; muf architecture / art of London, Suisman Urban Design of Santa Monica and Wanted Landscape of Montreal and Boston. The teams will meet on May 9th this year with museum directors and respected industry leaders from various sectors.

The pre-conference event will feature key speakers on museums, art, culture, creativity and technology and will all focus in some way on the central question “what does it mean to experience a children’s museum in the 21st century?”

It is thought that those involved will have the opportunity to share their work at ACM’s InterActivity 2014 conference which will be held in Pheonix, Arizona.

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