Intergenerational learning in the Museum of Modern Art's interactive lab
Foulds, Beth Ann
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This thesis examined an interactive, intergenerational gallery entitled MoMA Art Lab: People, located within the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It is composed of various stations that visitors can explore, which include activities appropriate for people of all ages. The motivation for this research came after noticing a lack of family programming in art museums that truly engaged both the adults and children in family groups. Often the children would be active but the parents would sit passively nearby. This was not the case in the MoMA lab, where people of varying ages interacted with both the stations and each other as they explored the activities. This study sought to focus on the aspects of the lab that most often led to the engagement of adults who visited the lab as part of an intergenerational group. In order to examine possible reasons why the lab was able to engage adults, I conducted a case study that involved observing nine groups who entered the lab, interviewing seven of them, and also interviewing five educators in the Family Programs department who held significant roles in the development and running of the lab. The findings revealed that the aspects of MoMA Art Lab: People that most engaged adults were stations focused on art-making and were designed in a way conducive to conversation.