Design in the Desert

Project team members Allison and Debbie at the Desert Museum. Photo by Angel Breault

When the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum started planning a new exhibit to open in 2018, they decided to design with the community. In traditional design and planning efforts a small group of experts do the planning with little to input from staff or visitors.

The folks at the Desert Museum decided to take a different approach. LeadLocal worked with Museum directors and staff to bring fresh perspectives to the design process.  

Museum staff interviews visitors for new exhibit ideas.

From community ideation labs, to visitor interviews, strategic prototyping sessions, and data parties, the Desert Museum is taking a participatory, human-centered approach to design. It is asking its staff and the public to “co-create” how the new exhibit will look and feel, the way information will be displayed, and what activities will be included. It isn’t everyday you see a world class institution taking advice from its visitors–that’s innovation.

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