A little bit over a fortnight ago, we gathered a mix of culture, design and tech professionals at the Google Art Institute around Don Undeen for a creative evening on “Building creative spaces in museums”.

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Why this night? Well first, because of a firm belief that museums increasingly need a complex set of skills and know-how which do not originate from the cultural field. Our very name is a statement that museums are the sum of just about everyone who connects with them. The vision we wanted to share is that in the future, working will all kinds of different people won’t be an option, and it won’t be a walk in the park, either. Creative spaces are intermediary areas where people, technologies, collaboration forms and audience engagement organically inform one another. In a nutshell, they are labs for the future.

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And secondly, we knew just the right person to do so. We have crossed paths with Don Undeen in 2013 at the first edition of WAM, where he delivered one of the most amazing and telling speeches we ever saw in a conference. Don impersonated a cool curator and stuffy curator while explaining the exemplary work he led at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as founder of the Media Lab for 8 years.

Our evening was an occasion for participants to learn more about the vision behind the Media Lab as well as gather new ideas of collaboration for their own organisation. Here a few tweets we really loved and that sum up the spirit of the night well.

1.Museums people and techies fuel each other’s creativity and accelerate innovation together. Therefore, creative spaces are not and odd thing to build in a museum

2. Design, technology and new inputs are meant to help, facilitate and clarify museums for their audience (except when your picture is blurry)

3. Creative spaces are a new professional, human and business model. If done well, they are at the forefront of every museum’s daily challenges

Here are a few of the project that the Met’s Media Lab has carried out through the years:

3D hackathon

Oculus Rift-powered  imaginary  Met objects

Digitart

Accessibility

More 3d printing….with sugar (genius)

Also, have a look at 4 of our own participants’ ideas that emerged from the night of learning and sharing. Maybe there is one you want to pick to incubate in your museum? (apparently food x museums is a big hit)

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Coming June 2016 : A day-long workshop on implementing creative spaces, for museums and innovation professionals

Following up with that fun night dedicated to get people from different backgrounds in one room to talk to one another, we are doing the real thing in mid 2016! Join us in Paris for a day long workshop with Don where we will set out to help cultural organisation design the creative space that works for them, and connect them to the infrastructure they need. More information will be unveiled very soon.

In the mean time, if you have not met Don yet, here is a brief introductory video:

Don Undeen Meets We Are Museums Learning (ITW 12-10-2015, Paris) from WeAreMuseums on Vimeo.

Thank you to everyone who came and thank you to our wonderful hosting venue!

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