Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 CAM Conference

Scott Moulton, LEED AP

Ron Davis, Elena Merlino and I took a trip to Pasadena for the California Association of Museums conference last week. This year the conference had 486 attendees from a wide range of California Museums. It was a great opportunity to talk with this diverse group ranged from a single room schoolhouse museum, the Reagan Library, the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, to The California Academy of Science. The one thing that impressed me in all my conversations was the passion and unique interests of this group of museum professionals.

Conversation at the opening event (photo: California Association of Museums)

In addition to the conference we had a chance to visit a few local museums. One highlight was out trip to kidspace. The museum is a series of small buildings linked by outdoor exhibit spaces. This arrangement is similar to the Bay Area Discovery Museum and I have to say it is a great way to organize a Children's Museum (especially in a place with weather as nice as Pasadena.) A few highlights at kidspace were the 2 large indoor climbers, the Nature Exchange, and the Interpretive Arroyo which is integrated into the adjacent hillside and garden. Of all the exhibits it was Trike Tracks that got us the most excited. The exhibit is as simple as a stamped concrete path that defines a road, a few road signs, a variety of trikes, and helmets for the kids. As you can imagine all sorts of fun emerges as kids (and exhibit designers) race and negotiate the course. 

The entrance to the museum leads to an indoor / outdoor space

The stream is nicely integrated into the hillside and garden. Note that they offer places to sit and enjoy it.

Lookout!!! Gyroscope exhibit designer Elena Merlino breaks all the rules by riding the wrong way without a helmet .

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