ASU Innovation Gallery: School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change boasts a Museum Studies program, focusing on design for the interpretive experience through the exploration of ideas and objects of cultural, sociological and natural significance. Nestled in one of the Tempe campus’ original historic structures, the most current exhibit space was located behind dark spandrel glass along a utilitarian entrance corridor, subdivided by a large masonry shear wall. The faculty’s vision for a new Innovation Gallery included a sense of openness, greater accessibility to the campus and flexibility for experimentation.
The resulting solution required extensive structural demolition and restructuring of original historic structure to turn 2 disparate spaces into one, opening shuttered exterior windows, and the creation of interchangeable display zones - allowing the department’s extensive collection to finally come out of “hiding”. Holly Street Studio’s design incorporates large scale movable walls in the center of the main gallery - with minimal cross bracing in place of the intrusive masonry shear wall - capable of sub-division or expansion at a moment’s notice. The gallery is flanked by deep display walls that invite visitors to a close up look at artifacts, a place to sit, and an opportunity to contribute to the exhibit with open alcoves and pin up space. The doubling and opening design concept also included the adjacent Conference Room where SHESC now has room for larger presentations directly engaged with gallery exhibits. The Innovation Gallery will remain open and accessible to the entire Tempe campus with lounge and gathering space on the east side, while the west portion remains secure and open as exhibits require. With a clear path toward faculty visions for an expanding curriculum - the space has become a canvas for student work and provides infinite new learning opportunities.
george josephs, pe
doug woodward, pe