State of the art.
Rethinking form and function in a 21st-century art museum.
An open invitation.
21st-century art museums bear little resemblance to the hushed, cordoned-off cathedrals that once separated visitors and artwork. Today, emphasis is placed not only on the artwork itself, but on the visitor’s experience of—and participation in—the museum as a whole. These cultural institutions are moving beyond passive observation to active engagement and education; creating—and convening— communities; and fostering critical discussions on the most important topics of our time. The role of museums in the 21st century is an ongoing conversation—one that Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) has furthered with its recent renovation.
Combining performance and public discourse, education and community engagement, interactivity and intellect, the thoughtful redesign by executive architect HED and LA-based architects Johnston Marklee began with the idea that evolving uses and activities—rather than art or architecture alone—should drive the renovation. The resulting vision interweaves art, community, education, design and dining into a multi-faceted, art-immersive environment.