Community-informed design: Blending community engagement and museum design approaches for sustainable experience development

December 8th, 2023 | RESEARCH

The museum field currently and historically has centered on the needs of White, educated, privileged, and affluent people, and changing that reality requires new ways of conceptualizing, organizing, and assessing our core practices. Practice-based models—including specific stories of how museums and communities work together—are still needed in our field, both as guidance for structuring future projects and as inspiration for what is possible. We share a case study of a 10-year makerspace design process and identify key features for sustaining community–museum relationships over an extended period of work, which we call community-informed design. We describe five key aspects that promote sustainability in terms of community–museum relationships and the creation of high-quality experiences: naming values and assumptions, emergent planning, flexible and distributed staffing, organization-to-organization relationships, and layered data.



Team Members

Robby Callahan Schreiber, Author, Science Museum of Minnesota
Megan Goeke, Author, Science Museum of Minnesota
Marjorie Bequette, Author, Science Museum of Minnesota


Identifier Type: DOI
Identifier: 10.1111/cura.12583

Publication: Creator The Museum Journal
Volume: 00
Page(s): 1-17


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)
Award Number: 1906884

Related URLs

Building More Inclusive Makerspaces to Support Informal Engineering Learning Experiences
RESEARCH: "Making Connections: Exploring Culturally-Relevant Maker Experiences through an Iterative, Cross-Institutional Approach"


Access and Inclusion: Ethnic | Racial | Low Socioeconomic Status
Discipline: Education and learning science | Engineering
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research
Environment Type: Making and Tinkering Programs | Museum and Science Center Exhibits