Discovery. Interaction. Creativity. Invention.
“I am part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever when I move.”
—From Tennyson’s Ulysses
The design for Cade Museum, which focuses on creativity and invention, was inspired by this passage and conceived as a metaphor for the human brain. Just as experience fosters creativity, and creativity leads to invention, neurons in the brain grow and make new connections, in new and different ways, with every new experience. Like some of history’s greatest inventions that became platforms for future inventions, such as the world wide web making the creation of social networks and file sharing sites possible, the brain is where experiences are reformulated to create new ideas that in turn influence others – leading to invention.
Similarly, the building is organized around one space – the Main Hall – where all experiences come together. Like Ulysses in Tennyson’s poem, this space is a part of all of the spaces in the museum, yet at the same time becomes the foundation upon which they are experienced. A distinguishable form, the Main Hall draws visitors in from Main Street with views into and through the museum. It is clad in overlapping panels of textured metal, symbolic of ideas and experiences coming together, with the individual wedge-shaped galleries growing organically from its core. Inside, it is a vortex of creative energy. An oculus to the sky, symbolic of Tennyson’s “arch”, opens the space to the universe and all that it holds, while a prominent link to a large outdoor gathering plaza forges a connection with the rest of the park in which the museum is set.
Inside, all galleries emanate from the Main Hall. Prominent within this space is the singular volume that houses the two hands-on discovery galleries – this is the jewel of the museum, where creativity is explored and invention takes place.
Every experience makes us a different person and impacts those with which we interact. A visit to this museum will offer insights into the spirit of creativity and invention, not just through the exhibits within, but through an interaction with the building itself.