Refocusing on the Floor

Description:

A major strategic revitalization initiative of the Exploratorium that assessed, reconceptualized, and redesigned all of the organization's public spaces and visitor experiences. "Refocusing on the Floor" documents are in the Exploratorium Papers Project at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

s:
<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

During its first 25 years, the Exploratorium gradually filled up its space at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Much like a medieval village, elements were built, added on to, remodeled, and expanded as the staff population grew until the exhibit floor was almost full. By the early 1990s, construction trailers-cum-offices filled the remaining space. At the front entrance, a multitude of signs for programs and projects competed for visitors' attention. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

The public space was originally organized by topics that resembled chapters in a physics textbook. The exhibits on the public floor were considered as interchangeable parts of an interconnected curriculum. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

Refocusing on the Floor was designed as a meta-strategic planning and design process to revisit the early visions for the place, reconceptualize and improve the existing space and content using visitor research to inform the process, and to design a new space (eventually at a new site) for all the public experiences of the Exploratorium.

<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>Staff from across the organization participated in the Refocusing process by celebrating the past, acknowledging the present, and envisioning the future. Working groups were organized around three areas of inquiry: Pedagogy, Mediated Experiences, and Space. One of the goals was to free up space for new exhibit development projects and public programs. This is a 2006 view of the resulting reorganized public space. (photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
Date:
1995 – 2004
Role:
Director, Center For Public Exhibition; Project Director and Designer
Footprint:
60,000 square feet; entire public space of the Exploratorium
Venue:
  • Exploratorium
Collaborators:
Dr. Goery Delacote, Dr. Robert Semper, Dr. Dennis Bartels