The Future of Museum Design

Over the last few decades, museums have been evolving from catalogs of history to immersive storytelling spaces and brands. But museums still struggle to compete for our attention, while staying true to their role in preserving and projecting our cultural heritage and values.

Join Lanae Spruce (Senior Director, Social Strategy and Special Projects for iOne Digital, formerly from The National Museum of African American History), Josh Goldblum (owner of an award-winning experience design agency, Blue Cadet) and Richard Bentham (an exhibit designer from from the National Museum of the American Indian) as they talk about the future of museum design. This panel will be moderated by Vesela Sretenović, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection.

This group will discuss:

  • How museums are shaping their narratives to reach new, and more inclusive, audiences
  • Trends in experience, space, and exhibit design and strategy
  • Experiences and stories outside of the museum space
  • What the museum of the future looks like

You’ll walk away from this talk with an understanding of how museum spaces are evolving and emerging trends in design and storytelling.

This event will be held at the National Museum of the American Indian. The museum is open and available before and after the talk, including access to the Americans exhibit, design-led by Studio Joseph and media by Josh Goldblum’s team at Blue Cadet. Check it out!


1:30pm :: Doors open

2:00pm :: Panel Discussion

3:00pm :: Questions

3:30pm :: Close


AIGA Members: $15-25

Non-Members: $30

Our Speakers

Lanae Spruce

Senior Director, Social Strategy and Special Projects for iOne Digital

Lanae Spruce is a Webby award-winning digital brand strategist and multi-hyphenate creative.

In her current role as Senior Director, Social Strategy and Special Projects for iOne Digital, she leads the social strategy for Bossip, GlobalGrind, MadameNoire, Cassius, HelloBeautiful, NewsOne and HipHopWired.

Lanae has been named a Rising Brand Star by Adweek and featured in the New York Times, The Lily, The Riveter and Teen Vogue, among others.

Lanae lives in Brooklyn with her fiancée and labradoodle Bentley. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram (@_blackmuses) for musings on culture, strategy and food.

Josh Goldblum

Founder and CEO, Bluecadet

Josh is the founder and CEO of Bluecadet, an experience design agency that works with cultural institutions, universities, and mission-driven organizations.

With offices in both Philadelphia and New York, Josh built Bluecadet’s interdisciplinary team to unite revolutionary innovations with a sense of human craftsmanship. He has overseen the design and development of interactive experiences and planning strategies for clients such as MoMA, The Smithsonian Institution, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Josh holds a B.A. from Tufts University and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He lives with his wife and two children in Philadelphia, where he is an active member of the design and technology community.

Josh’s work has been widely recognized with top awards including an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, as well as honors from the American Alliance of Museums, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, and South by Southwest.

As a pioneer in the technological transformation of the cultural sector, Josh is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and symposia, has appeared on CNN, CBS News, and NPR, and has been featured in publications including The New Yorker, USA Today, HOW magazine, Communication Arts, and People magazine.

Richard Bentham

Exhibit Designer, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian

Richard Bentham is an exhibit designer at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Presently, he’s working on Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight, an exhibition scheduled to open in October 2020, and the Tribal Nations flags project. Prior to this, Richard worked for six years as an exhibit designer for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, one of the most visited museums in the country. He was the lead exhibit designer on several projects, including Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity (resulting in a Bronze AAM team MUSE award) and Art of the Airport Towers. He was also the lead designer for the branding of Space Shuttle Discovery’s celebration and final flight over Washington D.C.

Richard was a guest on the Revision Path Podcast and a panelist for Federal News Radio: Design and the Federal Government and AIGA Night at the Museum: The Exhibit Design Process From Start to Finish. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Washington and is currently pursuing his Masters in Interior Design part-time at Marymount University. His downtime is mostly spent with church community, husband, family, and friends having thoughtful conversations, eating, laughing, and challenging each other to be better people.

Our Moderator

Vesela Sretenović

Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection

Vesela Sretenović has been a senior curator of modern and contemporary art at The Phillips Collection since 2009. Upon her arrival to the Phillips, she initiated a series of ongoing art projects called Intersections, inviting contemporary artists—national and international, emerging and established—to engage with the museum permanent collection and architecture and present or create new work. Additionally, Sretenović had organized numerous solo exhibitions of prominent artists including Robert Ryman, Ellsworth Kelly, Antony Gormley, Richard Tuttle, and most currently a first museum retrospective of Cuban artist Zilia Ssanchez. Prior to joining the Phillips, Sretenović spent ten years as curator at the David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, while also teaching contemporary art and art theory at the Rhode Island School of Design. Earlier in her career, Sretenović worked for the University at Buffalo and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She holds Doctoral degree in Humanities from Syracuse University.

About the location

The National Museum of the American Indian is part of the Smithsonian Institution and is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere—past, present, and future—through partnership with Native people and others. Wikipedia

Transportation, parking, and accessibility

All transportation and accessibility information can be found on the museum’s website.

Land acknowledgment statement

We gratefully acknowledge the Native peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native Communities who make their home here today.

Code of Conduct

All AIGA DC events adhere to our Code of Conduct.

The Design Continuum Fund

10% of the proceeds from this and every event goes to the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund (DCF) scholarship, fostering the next generation of designers through helping local design-minded and underrepresented students as they pursue their education.

Illustration and design courtesy of Francheska Guerrero, Unfolding Terrain @unfolding_terrain

When & Where
Sat, Feb 8, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST
National Museum of the American Indian
Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20560