NO SPECTATORS

THE ART OF BURNING MAN

SCOPE

Design Strategy

Visitor Flow Maps

Wayfinding 

Signage

TEAM

David Gleeson

Fern Bleckner

Rebecca Sullesta

RADICAL PARTICIPATION IN THE MUSEUM

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at The Renwick Gallery was the first gallery takeover since the blockbuster Wonder, an Instagram sensation which revolutionized the museum, and the gallery was anticipating record attendance. Our team was tasked with determining a crowd management system that safeguarded highly interactive artwork and the general public, while maintaining Burning Man's spirit of radical participation.

In addition to contributing to strategic decisions, my role was to create maps illustrating our plans for our team to present at both internal and external meetings.

Given The Renwick's location directly across from The White House, external line management required close collaboration with executive members of the Secret Service, National Parks Service, and Blair House. The area in front of The Renwick is subject to increasingly frequent closures, and we needed to formulate a plan for those occasions.

 

After several iterations, we were able to come up with a compromise that balanced the concerns of our neighboring government agencies with the reality of our small staff and safety of our visitors.

 

OUR NEIGHBORS, THE WHITE HOUSE

Inside the museum, our main concern was visitor safety interacting with the artwork and avoiding bottlenecks on crowded days. We strategized to determine an ideal visitor flow through the exhibit, location of personnel, stanchions, and signage.

Each artwork was analyzed to determine the potential level of danger presented to guests, and we staffed each gallery accordingly.

 

SUGGESTING FLOW

The line for Android Jones’ virtual reality experience presented another strategic opportunity. First slated to run down the hall, I suggested setting up the stanchions inside the gallery to better leverage the spectacle of the experience, freeing circulation to the elevators and bathroom. 

Exhibition attendance numbers exceeded Wonder with over 560,000 visitors thus far. 

 

After the opening I joined the staff in support of the VR simulation. This provided me with the unique opportunity of closely observing the effectiveness of our strategies, and continuing to react and adapt to visitor needs.

RECORD ATTENDANCE

Copyright 2020 by Rachel Matthews