Colleen Connolly, recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s graphic design program, believes that museums can educate and serve more diverse audiences by providing multilingual exhibits, signage, and resources. She was awarded a Fulbright Arts Research Grant to explore bilingual (Chinese/English) signage and exhibitions in Taiwanese museums and tourist sites. Taiwan has declared that it will achieve its goal of being a completely bilingual country by 2030, necessitating nationwide conversations on how providing bilingual design can create more accessible spaces for people of different cultural and language backgrounds.
To follow along with Colleen’s research and read interviews with both American and Taiwanese designers, visit her blog at www.gatewayproject.blog and follow the matching Instagram account @gateway_taiwan
Colleen is affiliated with Fu Jen University’s Graduate Institute of Museum Studies under Dr. Professor Sheng-Ching Chang. During her ten-month grant period, she is looking forward to continuing her Chinese language studies and traveling around the island to visit Taiwan’s many world-class museums. Her grant, which was pushed back over half a year because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, starts as soon as she gets out of quarantine in Taipei on March 10, 2021.
“I want to encourage other young designers to apply for research grants and travel stipends from university or government programs – many times the grant reviewers are thrilled to see a topic other than political science! As designers we need to be confident that our research is just as worthy of research, time, and resources as other disciplines.”