1st Edition

Museums and Design for Creative Lives

By Suzanne MacLeod Copyright 2021
    318 Pages 193 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 193 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Museums and Design for Creative Lives questions what we sacrifice when we allow economic imperatives to shape public museums, whilst also considering the implications of these new museum realities. It also asks: how might we instead design for creative lives?

    Drawing together 28 case studies of museum design spanning 70 years, the book explores the spatial and social forms that comprise these successful examples, as well as the design methodologies through which they were produced. Re-activating a well-trodden history of progressive museum design and raising awareness of the involvement of the built forms in how we feel, think and act, MacLeod provides strategies and methods to actively counter the economisation of museums and a call to museum makers to work beyond the economic and advance this deeply human history of museum making.

    Museums and Design for Creative Lives will be of great interest to academics and students in museum studies, gallery studies, heritage studies, arts management, communication and architecture and design departments, as well as those interested in understanding more about design as a resource in museums. The book provides a valuable resource for museum leaders and practitioners.



    Part 1

    Chapter 1 The economization of museums and the ‘truth’ of space

    Chapter 2 Landscapes of potential: the social and spatial underpinnings of museums

    Chapter 3 Design for creative lives: new museum design cultures


    Part 2

    1. Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK, 2007-
    2. Blue House, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 2017
    3. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, USA, 1960s
    4. Derby Silk Mill Museum of Making, Derby, UK, 2020
    5. District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, 1994-present
    6. Exile, Kingston Lacy, UK, 2017
    7. Exploratorium, San Francisco, USA, 1969
    8. Festival of Britain, London, UK, 1951
    9. Fun Palace, London, UK, 1960-75
    10. Galleries of Modern London, Museum of London, UK, 2004-10
    11. Guggenheim Helsinki, Finland, 2013-16
    12. Humankind, Calke Abbey, UK, 2019-20
    13. Jubilee Arts, The Bus Project, UK, 1978-84
    14. Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, UK, 1998-2006
    15. Launchpad, Science Museum, London, UK, 1986
    16. Lost Childhoods, Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, USA, 2017
    17. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, 1958
    18. Museo Casa de la Memoria Medellin, Colombia, 2012-
    19. Museo Taller Ferrowhite, Bahia Blanca, Argentina, 2004-
    20. Museum at the Gateway Arch, St Louis, USA, 2018
    21. National Human Rights Museum, Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011-
    22. Parque Explora, Medellín, Colombia, 2008-
    23. Pride and Prejudice, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK, 2014-19
    24. SESC Pompéia, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1982
    25. Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, New York, USA, 2015
    26. Talking About… Disability and Art, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK, 2006-8
    27. The Past is Now, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK, 2017
    28. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, USA, 1993-


    Suzanne MacLeod is Professor of Museum Studies at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, where she also undertakes collaborative and practice-centred research with a range of cultural institutions in the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries. She is author of Museum Architecture: A New Biography and co-editor of The Future of Museum and Gallery Design, Museum Making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions, and Reshaping Museum Space: Architecture, Design, Exhibitions.

    "For anyone who believes that museums have the potential to act as powerful agents for social change, Museums and Design for Creative Lives is a must-read. MacLeod applies a theoretical framework of social space to current museum practice that not only identifies unchallenged assumptions about goals, standards, and processes in museums, but also articulates essential qualities and values inherent in what she calls "progressive museum design." The theory comes to life in the second part of the book, which explores the many visions, intentions, and design practices in 28 museum case studies of progressive museum design from around the world. Most importantly, MacLeod summarizes with six frames of mind or calls to action that provide us with concrete, provocative, and energizing ways forward." — Kathleen McLean, USA