Toward a Human-centered Approach to Art Museum Design

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  • Title: Toward a Human-centered Approach to Art Museum Design: Learning from Volunteers’ Perceptions and Experiences
  • Author(s): Altaf Engineer, Sandra Bernal
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Design Principles & Practices
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
  • Keywords: Museums, Volunteers, Architecture, Evidence-based Design
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 3
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2325-1662 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1670 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v13i03/1-12
  • Citation: Engineer, Altaf, and Sandra Bernal. 2019. "Toward a Human-centered Approach to Art Museum Design: Learning from Volunteers’ Perceptions and Experiences." The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design 13 (3): 1-12. doi:10.18848/2325-1662/CGP/v13i03/1-12.
  • Extent: 12 pages

Abstract

This study advocates a human-centered approach to art museum design based on perceptions and experiences of users at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Upon conducting in-depth surveys, the results and discussions are informed by the statistical evidence of the relationship between levels of occupant satisfaction, workspace design, and comfort. The study reveals how award-winning designs may fail to address architectural and interior design principles when lacking adequate accessibility and wayfinding, leading to subsequent obstacles in operations, maintenance, and management. It builds on a previous post-occupancy evaluation of museum users, which included visitors and staff, by adding a post-occupancy evaluation of volunteers, who were found to be a valuable resource for developing a comprehensive set of evidence-based design recommendations for future art museums and their additions.