Designing for Creative Lives

Module code: MU7006

Co-ordinator: Dr Suzanne MacLeod and Prof Richard Sandell

This module looks at the art institution differently. Its focus is on public engagement and considers the role of art institutions in enriching lives. It follows our examination of curating by looking at designing for visitor experience and pays particular attention to interpretive approaches and the use of space. It challenges you to think about the diverse approaches that might be taken to displaying artworks. It calls for critical thinking so as to build effective visitor experiences.

This module argues for a vision-led and values-driven approach to the art institution. It sees the art institution as an instrument of change which possesses social responsibilities that lead to engagement with social justice and human rights. It also considers the art museum as a site of protest and social activism.

A core element of this module is to consider how the art museum can be marketed. The aim of this module is to promote the idea that the art museum can have real social effect. 

Topics covered

  • Museum space, architecture and experience
  • Building museums and structuring experiences
  • Organisational vision, values and leadership
  • Human rights, social justice and the art museum
  • Activism, politics and protest
  • Engaging audiences and interpretation
  • Marketing the art museum


  • 25 hours of lectures
  • 22 hours of practicals and workshops
  • 8 hours of study visits


  • 2000 word, or equivalent, assignment. The style of assignment is different for each module and includes essays, critical reviews, art journalism, reports, portfolios, oral examinations and so on.