Designing the Science Center

So You Think You Want to Build a New Science Center

Over the course of more than three decades, SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership has had the privilege of helping scores of museums and science centers navigate the complex waters of design and construction, guiding them safely to their desired destinations. Throughout this journey, we have learned a tremendous range of lessons about the potential and the pitfalls, about what should work but in reality does not, and about what seems impossible but in the end transcends all of our expectations.

Planning for Success is a Science

Over the past 10 years, science centers have shifted their views on capital projects. This has resulted in some differences in newer projects, compared with those undertaken prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The strategies can be different now and the paths to success have evolved. With a thoughtful strategy and the right team, science center design can be a winning endeavor for you, your institution, and your city.

Balancing Content and Design at the Museum of Tomorrow

Brazil’s Museum of Tomorrow offers a strong interaction between content and design, present both in the form of its construction and in the design of its exhibitions. At the Museum of Tomorrow, architecture is not just a container for exhibitions; it is a constituent part of the museum’s concept of sustainability and inspires visitors to imagine a healthier world.

Design Thinking for an Unforgettable User Experience

Creating an effortless and pleasurably memorable user experience is as important to museums as the exhibits themselves. In fact, a poor user experience can undermine even the most exquisitely designed exhibitions. Generating a positive user experience is a creative endeavor enabled by skills that can be learned and strengthened with use.

Leaving the Playground Behind: Shifting the Visitor Experience

In 2016, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis opened a reimagined version of its 20-year-old science gallery, ScienceWorks. In developing and designing the new exhibition, we took the opportunity for a fresh look at accessibility, visitor behavior, and educational trends to align ScienceWorks with the museum’s focus on immersive, content-driven user experiences for families and school groups.

Designing and Redesigning the Science Center

The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford celebrates its 10th anniversary. But the crucial planning choices that led to the institution’s success were made in the years before its doors opened in 2009. And since that time, the natural progression of updates to physical spaces and the interactive experiences they enable have fostered an equally important chapter in the museum’s service to our community.