Democratic Design for Museums, Galleries and Heritage: Workshop Discussion

Following Michael Saward’s exploration of democracy as a design challenge, this workshop will ask – what democratic design challenges do we face in Museums, Galleries and Heritage?

How might some of the most obviously controversial issues in current museum practice – from restitution or removal of statues – be approached in terms of democratic design?

Booking information

This event will be held online.

Book your place.

About the Museum Legitimacies event series

The question of the legitimacy of art galleries, museums and heritage organisations is being posed increasingly loudly. Long standing attempts to reform are now being framed by strikes, demonstrations, occupations but also by increasing government oversight and policy constraint.

Negotiating between the politics of representational legitimacy via the state, delegated authority to professionals and participatory politics has for many decades now been core institutional work. Yet the present moment has exposed and generated vulnerabilities in the political constitution of art galleries, museums and heritage organisations.

In this series exploring political innovation in, against and beyond art galleries, museum and heritage organisations we will connect a range of debates often not well connected – from new approaches to practice, democratic innovation beyond trustee and arms-length models, DIY and mutual aid, co-operatives and community benefit societies to defunding and abolition – to ask: What does ‘legitimacy’ mean for art galleries, museums and heritage organisations?

These events are part of Designing for Democratic Engagement, a collaboration between the Centre for Democratic Engagement and Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage.


Museum sign. Photo by Scott Webb.