2018 - 2019
Francisco Lerios, Manuel Alcalá
Critical thinking, non-traditional models of participatory design, afterhours conversation spaces, WhatsApp + social media outlets, speculative narratives, sunlight, map making
Museo Tamayo (Mexico City, Mexico)
Desde la perspectiva de is a 6-month independent design research project that engaged the museum guards who work inside Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. Using design as a tool for observation, documentation as well as investigation, the project worked closely with the guards while respecting the protocols of the museum to avoid jeopardizing their employment.
Site and context-specific methods were creatively devised to make the research possible, including: creating afterhours conversational spaces, compensating a guard on their day off to enact projects in public spaces, and eating breakfast with the guards before they clocked in.
The most significant insight was perhaps not the elementary knowledge we gained of the guards’ everyday life and role in the museum (that accumulated in the form of a publication), but a larger question around how people can conduct research in museums in an ethical and meaningful manner. Traditional methods of participatory research can be harmful in a place like the museum where the museum guards’ agency is already lessened by the powerful systems of hierarchy that govern their roles, duration of employment and power.