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Pittsburgh’s MuseumLab showcased as a finalist in SXSW’s Learn by Design competition

Kidsburgh Staff
January14/ 2020

Photo courtesy of MuseumLab.

We’ve been loving MuseumLab since it opened last April as an extension of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The addition of this haven for older kids, housed in the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny County, established the largest cultural campus for kids in the country. The design combines historic preservation and innovative new architecture in a space where kids experience maker learning in art and technology.

The space wows all of us who pass through its doors. The rest of the world has taken notice, too.

MuseumLab, along with the project’s lead architect, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, has been named one of five finalists in this year’s SXSW EDU Learn by Design competition.

The international competition honors imaginative and impactful approaches to the design of physical learning environments and how they impact teaching methods and learning outcomes. Eligible spaces include classrooms, libraries, museums and special exhibitions that help solve challenges in education and the designers, educators and architects who create them.

Clockwise from left, Dreamscapes Immersive Art Experience, Canyon View High School, The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, and The Living Lab.

Other Learn by Design finalists include:

Canyon View High School. The Waddell, Arizona, school fosters academic and curricular exploration by expanding the definition of a “place-based” high school. Blurring the lines between age and abilities, the new facility offers an open-source incubator for the art of teaching and learning.

Dreamscapes Immersive Art Experience. Salt Lake City, Utah, is the home of Dreamscapes, which manifests the surreal nature of the subconscious in a 14,000-square-foot labyrinth suitable for all ages

The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. Designed as the heart of Barnard College in New York, NY, the Milstein Center reimagines the role of the library in higher education.

The Living Lab. Ocean Discovery Institute in San Diego, Calif., uses ocean science to empower young people from urban, underserved communities. The institute’s latest addition, The Living Lab, continues to strengthen the organization’s mission by engaging thousands of students.

The SXSW honor is another in a growing list: MuseumLab is on track for LEED Gold certification and to meet the standards for WELL Building and the Pittsburgh 2030 District initiative. It is the first building in the nation to receive certification in Innovative Solutions for Internal Design from the University of Buffalo’s Center for Universal Design and Environmental Access. MuseumLab is also a finalist in the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania’s Building Excellence Awards of 2019.

The Learn by Design competition takes place at the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas, from March 13-22. We’re looking forward to hearing the outcome.

Kidsburgh Staff

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