ASU Innovation Gallery

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ASU Innovation Gallery

The ASU Innovation Gallery is located in Tempe’s ASU School of Human Evolution and Social Change building. It is a welcoming space in which students and the public at large can enjoy exhibits and programs related to the university’s research for free. Visitors, particularly student and faculty graduates, use the Innovative Gallery as a laboratory to design, develop, and interpret the unique and interactive exhibitions available.

It draws majorly from the extensive collection of ethnographic, scientific, and archaeological collections provided by community members and maintained by the university. The museum was previously known as the ASU Museum of Anthropology, and today, it is part of the University’s Center for Archaeology and Society.

The Innovation gallery is among several ways in which Arizona State University (ASU) School of Human Evolution and Social Change presents its top-notch quality Museum Studies Program. This program focuses on designing the interpretive experience through idea and object exploration, in a bid to bring out the collectibles’ sociological, cultural, and natural significance.

The most current exhibit space was initially located along a utilitarian entrance hallway (corridor), behind dark spandrel glass. It was subdivided by a massive masonry shear wall. Seeing as space was somewhat limited, the faculty was driven to change things. The new vision entailed construction of a new Innovation Gallery that brought about a sense of openness, while promoting experimentation flexibility and greater campus access.

The solution that resulted required a couple of things. First of all, there was major structural demolition. There was also the need for restructuring the original historic structure, converting the two disparate spaces into one. The shuttered exterior windows needed to be opened up. The new re-construction necessitated creation of interchangeable display spaces, finally allowing the faculty’s extensive collection to crawl from the shadows of ‘hiding’.

The design, by Holly Street Studio, incorporated large-scale movable walls at the main Innovation Gallery’s center. To replace the highly intrusive masonry shear wall, the designer used minimal cross bracing capable of expansion or sub-division. This meant that the gallery’s arrangement could be altered at a moment’s notice.

Deep display walls flank the gallery, inviting visitors to a sitting place, a close-up look at various artifacts, as well as a chance to contribute to the displayed collections and exhibits with a pin-up and open alcoves space. The opening and doubling design concept comes in quite handy, as it gives room for larger presentations. The design has also been applied in the adjacent Conference Room where visitors are treated to exhibits that are directly related to the Gallery displays.

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