With the blank canvas of a brand-new 21,000-square-foot home in Santa Monica Place retail center, the Cayton Children’s Museum had a unique opportunity to expand its offerings and engage new local and international audiences. Given the overall mission to teach community values and inspire a sense of inclusion and social responsibility through immersive and imaginative play, the design firm was challenged to help Sharewell conceive of the museum’s new branding, iconography, design palette, collateral (both digital and print) as well as the naming of multiple components of the museum.
The design firm’s use of bold colors, textures and patterns draw people of all ages into a sensory experience before they even walk through the doors and inspire “please touch” participation. Inside and out, inclusion is an important design theme, brought to life not only through the use of forty different languages and a rainbow-like color palette, but also through visual languages that all ages of children and their caretakers can relate to and understand. The design firm’s signage, wayfinding, and environmental graphics combine analog and digital media and are designed to spark imagination and inspire community engagement, such that all feel their participation is valued.
Signifying the museum’s mission of growth in children, the Generosity Garden, resembling blades of grass, welcomes visitors while recognizing the 5 donors who made the facility possible. The rest of the space is designed as five exhibit wings that work in concert to inspire visitors to explore core universal values, such as kindness, compassion, respect and hospitality.
Greg Nelson (principal), Patrick Fredrickson (project director & senior designer), Sean Morris (designer)