Back then we had to innovate by necessity or simply give up. Pretty much everyone we talked to thought we had a great idea, but during the Great Recession, no one had money to support us. We had to think differently about what a museum even is, and where it is. We looked at the problem from multiple angles. I started an MBA program the same month I started Design Museum Everywhere — looking at it as a business problem I realized the biggest costs for a museum are the facility and marketing to draw people into the facility, what if we didn’t have a building? Also, our content, design, is everywhere — perhaps the design museum should be everywhere?
So we turned the museum inside out and turned the entire city into the Design Museum. We’ve redefined what it means to be a museum in the 21st century — we are online, nomadic, and accessible to all. Instead of a single museum location we pop-up in cities across the country, in places where people already go. Whether in a gallery, retail environment, public space, office, or lobby, you can find our events, exhibitions, and programs everywhere. Design is everywhere, so are we.
I designed and implemented our business model — a mix of corporate sponsorship, grants, philanthropy, and a membership program — and I lead our business development function, connecting with supporters on a daily basis. I initiated and developed every major program we now offer: events, exhibitions, education programs, publications like books and Design Museum Magazine, our Design is Everywhere podcast, and more.
Most importantly I lead a group of over 70 people, including staff, council members, and board members. To align the organization I lead the development of our strategic plan and implemented a knowledge and program management system to ensure we achieve the aims in our plan while creating a positive and productive organizational structure and culture.
I’m currently writing a book about my entrepreneurial journey starting and growing this new kind of museum. Learn more about Design Museum Everywhere