Our three young children think of museums not solely as places to view art, but also as places to create it. While our oldest daughter takes her weekly art class in the basement of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, our youngest borrow museum-supplied totes filled with colored pencils and pads of paper and go in search of paintings and sculpture to sketch. It’s not uncommon, on a Saturday morning, to find clusters of children sprawled out on the floors of galleries in the new Art of the Americas wing, rendering their own versions of a work. Their very presence is, at once, both rooted in tradition and highly-disruptive to the system.
As we evolve the design of experiences, the intersection of tradition and disruption marks a real sweet spot for empowering not just use of a system, but participation in it.