new museum: CULTURAL incubator
Value-driven research for organizational health
NEW INC is the first museum-led cultural incubator, founded in 2014 by the New Museum in New York City. It supports an interdisciplinary cohort of members–creative practitioners developing businesses and building projects. It's a community aiming to "foster cultural value, not just capital value."
Project Timeline: January to May 2017
At the start of each yearly cohort, all the members of NEW INC participate in a two-week bootcamp. One of the sessions during the bootcamp is dedicated to defining the new cohort's set of community values–What values do they want to see enacted in the space when they move in? Which values are important to keep the space healthy?
We found the values members and staff identified as important to them, like presence and empathy, were difficult for them to remember to practice on a regular basis and even more difficult to measure.
We developed a strategy to allow members to engage with and work on the community values on a daily basis. The vision became, "How might we keep these community values tangible and live in the space?"
Through our Materializing process we translated the qualities of practicing empathy or generosity, for instance, into physical objects.
Three translations were installed in the office space in locations where the corresponding community value was most important to practice.
Maintaining people's engagement with the community values over time was one of the primary measures of success. Through regular documentation, surveying, orientation sessions, and interviews, we identified to what degree and how often members engage with community values.
In addition, the NEW INC directors and staff were provided with six member engagement profiles, insights on what physical changes might support members' emotional and physical needs, and a set of five new entry-points for the incubator to incorporate in to their strategic planning for the new upcoming cohort.