AIA New York’s Future of Cultural Centers Series Explores New Visions for 21st-Century Museums

October 15, 2020

The fall 2020 installment of the series will feature five conversations with museum professionals, focusing on how cultural institutions can use this unprecedented moment to adapt to the changing times.

New York City, October 15, 2020 – The AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee, in collaboration with DVDL DD, has launched the second part of the series “The Future of Cultural Centers,” which seeks to explore how arts and cultural institutions can be reimagined to adapt to our changing times. Supported by Microsol Resources, the conversation series will pair cultural forecaster and museum expert David van der Leer of DVDL DD with museum professionals from the US and beyond.

As the world rapidly changes around us, it is becoming less certain whether old frameworks for the programs of museums will be relevant for tomorrow’s institutions. Changes in technology, along with the challenges of COVID and growing demands for racial and social justice, have forced us to reconsider how we experience and consume art and culture, and how institutions can better foster a sense of inclusion and community. In this series, Van der Leer engages in informal conversations with museum professionals to ask, “What would museums for the 21st century become if we were to take this unprecedented time to explore new missions, visions, and programs for existing and new institutions? And ultimately, how does this impact how architects design the museums of the future?”

The first four programs in the fall series will feature critical conversations between Van der Leer and museum leadership: Courtney J. Martin, Yale Center for British Art (October 20); Miranda Massie, The Climate Museum (October 27); Uzodinma Iweala, The Africa Center (November 10); and Estuardo Rodriguez, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino (November 17). The series will culminate with a December 1 panel, NextGen Reflections, which invites young museum professionals Naiomy Guerrero, formerly Perez Art Museum; Lisa Kennedy, Museum of Dissent Collective and The Science Museum; and Alice Power, Victoria & Albert Museum, to reflect on and reimagine what’s in store for cultural institutions.

“Museums are notoriously intricate institutions that today have a responsibility and opportunity that goes beyond the care, presentation, and interpretation of objects,” says Van der Leer. “Museums can help us see things differently, help us make sense of an increasingly complex world and be a true part of everyday life. In our conversation series, we have learned that museum professionals are often stifled by the bureaucracies and frameworks they operate in, but also that so many of them care deeply and that they want to speak up about great ideas for change they have for the field. This series provides exactly that platform for dialogue and innovation.”

“As technology providers, we have supported the design and maintenance backbone of cultural centers for over 30 years; as denizens of the world, we have benefited immeasurably from what they offer to us and our families for even longer”, says Emilio Krausz, President of Microsol Resources. “How could Microsol Resources pass up on the incredible opportunity to support these invaluable institutions? We are delighted to be able to be sponsors of such a worthwhile series.

“The events of the last several months have brought into stark light the shifts and ruptures that our world is undergoing,” says Mercedes Armillas, AIA, Program Director of the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee. “Our cultural centers can play a vital role in helping our communities heal and rebuild. These conversations offer architects the opportunity to hear directly from professionals from a variety of museums and cultural centers about their visions for reframing relationship with communities.”

The fall installment of the series will be followed up by a spring 2021 installment, with themes, speakers, and dates to be announced in the new year. Videos recordings of the complete summer 2020 session are available on the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee page.

Program Schedule
The fall line-up will consist of five live conversations:

October 20 Courtney J. Martin, Yale Center for British Art
October 27 Miranda Massie, The Climate Museum
November 10 Uzodinma Iweala, The Africa Center
November 17 Estuardo Rodriguez, Museum of the American Latino
December 1NextGen Reflections, with Naiomy Guerrero, formerly at the Perez Art Museum in Miami; Lisa Kennedy, Museum of Dissent Collective and The Science Museum in London; Alice Power, Victoria & Albert Museum in London


DVDL DD is an agency of cultural forecasters, institutional strategists, and design matchmakers facilitating the creation of outstanding institutions, programs, and architecture for the 21st century. DVDL DD clients range from museums, universities, art fairs, and libraries, to real estate developers, architects, and art collectors. We help them project where the future may be headed, create surprising program ideas, develop solid mission and vision strategies, and facilitate collaborative processes to create the best architecture for these new programs.

About Microsol Resources
As an Autodesk Platinum Partner, Autodesk Training & Certification Center, Microsol Resources specializes in supporting architecture, engineering, and construction industries for their needs in software, training, technical support, and consulting services. With over 30 years of experience, we are known for our certified industry experts and recognized for our customer satisfaction as well as our partnerships with other technology solutions like McNeel Rhino, Chaos Group V-Ray, Enscape, Bluebeam, Panzura, and others.

About AIA New York
Founded in 1857, AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The Chapter’s members include 5,500 practicing architects, allied professionals, students, and public members interested in architecture and design. AIA New York is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development.



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