Designed to Engage: Alum Brings Design Innovation to New Role as Head of the Hickory Museum of Art

Posted July 31, 2017 in Certificate in Design and Innovation Management, Alumni

Since being named Executive Director of the Hickory Museum of Art in April 2017, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) alumnus Jon Carfagno (’14, Certificate in Design and Innovation Management) has been working closely with his staff to rethink the way the museum engages with the public.

As detailed in a recent article from the Hickory Record, Carfagno’s efforts have been largely focused on shaping every aspect of the museum, from exhibition content and layout to marketing materials to auxiliary programming, to more intentionally meet the needs of its audience. Through design thinking and human-centered design processes, Carfagno and museum staff have been able to more deeply understand the kinds of experiences its audience is interested in.

For example, they’ve brainstormed and experimented with new interactive exhibition components, such as “talk-back” stations in a recent exhibition where audience members could share personal stories from their own lives that connected with the work on display. Strategic shifts in the museum’s internal structure have also been instituted in order to foster integration, collaboration, and constructive dialogue between different departments.

Carfagno came to the Hickory Museum of Art following a 7-year tenure as director of learning and audience engagement for the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  

Lean more about Carfagno and his work in the Hickory Record article, found here.

Learn more about KCAD’s Graduate Certificate in Design and Innovation Management here.