Bodystorming Access | Interaction Lab Workshop

Museums approach the process of making meaning primarily through visual perception based on practices of close looking or label reading. This visual framework then typically drives the creation of interactive experiences, remaining focused on the visual, rather than tapping into the breadth and diversity of methods that people use to make sense of the world around us. What might change if we were to center the body as core to knowledge building?

This two-and-a-half hour workshop asks us to think (and move and feel) differently about how we might make sense of the museum environment with our bodies beyond our eyes alone. Rather than addressing accessibility through policy or regulations, we draw on inclusion by considering the ways diverse bodies engage as the origin of our design process.

This evening will be a first step in gathering a collective of ideas, leading to a future bodystorming workshop that will consider sense-making, inclusive design, and our gallery experiences.

The Interaction Lab is Cooper Hewitt’s newly launched visitor experience design lab, bringing interactive design methodology to the very heart of Cooper Hewitt’s visitor experience—across digital, physical, and human interactions.

Performance and workshops:

Anna Gichan is a dancer and visual artist based in New York City. She received her BFA in Dance from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts and completed a year abroad at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Anna has performed at Dixon Place, Judson Memorial Church, Loews Jersey Theater, Newburgh Illuminated Dance Festival, Triskelion Arts, Roulette, Yi Gallery, and more.

Zazel-Chavah O’Garra is the Artistic Director of ZCO/DANCEPROJECT, a physically integrated dance theatre company using dance as a means self-empowerment. She has performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey wksp II, and has been in numerous stage productions. Her choreography has appeared in numerous venues in the United States and Europe.

Kayla Hamilton is an artist, producer, and educator originally from Texarkana, Texas and now residing in Bronx, NY. Kayla earned a BA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and an MS Ed in Special Education from Hunter College. She is a member of the 2017 Bessie-award winning collective the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa.

Jacob Slominski has performed and toured with Jack Ferver, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Faye Driscoll, and has shown work at the Museum of Arts and Design, Gibney Dance, CPR, CATCH, Judson Church, Chez Bushwick, etc. He took a break from performing and choreographing as he learned how to live with chronic pain. He is still learning, and is returning to performance with a new and different body and outlook.

Cooper Hewitt is grateful to Londs Reuter for connecting the museum and performers to make this event possible.

General Access Information

Cooper Hewitt’s main entrance is accessible via a ramp and elevator to the Great Hall. The event space is located on the ground floor, one level below the entrance via stairs or elevator. CART Captioning will be provided for this event. For accommodation questions and requests please by email or call 212-849-8381.

Find out about Cooper Hewitt’s accessibility services.

Accessibility initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support is provided by the Smithsonian Accessibility Innovation Fund.