For the past 25 years, Alan Maskin has worked at Olson Kundig heading the building and master planning of projects focused on museums, installations, exhibits, and public projects. Currently, as a principal and an owner of the Seattle-based firm, he’s working on the design of multiple master planning studies for California museums, a rooftop park in Korea, and two public attractions. You may also remember that Maskin’s science-fiction story recently won the 3rd Blank Space Fairy Tales competition, a platform that focuses on the relationship between storytelling and visuals. His completed projects include: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, Secret Garden in Uijeongbu, South Korea, Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center, and the Bezos Center for Innovation at the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). If that’s not enough, Maskin co-directed and curated [storefront], his firm’s experimental workspace that lasted two years and consisted of 18 public installations and events that were created with community partners asking the question, “What can we do together that we cannot do apart?” Now that we’ve introduced you to him and his work, let’s take a look at his picks for Friday Five.
1. The Museum of Jurassic Technology
The factual claims of museums should always raise an eyebrow ― and this storefront “museum” in Culver City, Los Angeles dances along the precipice of fiction and fact in the most beautiful way. I brought my sports loving, museum-hating, ninety-year-old father one day and after almost three hours I had to drag him out.
2. The City Museum, Saint Louis
Every museum design, exhibit, and interactive visitor experience I design today tracks to the moment twenty years ago when I met Bob Cassilly and walked into his City Museum in Saint Louis. It breaks every rule. A masterpiece.
3. A letter from Maurice Sendak
Behold my most prized position ― an emblem from my freshman English college days ― when I had the nerve to write famed children’s book author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, and ask him to do the heavy lifting for my term paper by drawing an illustration that I could use. We got an “A”. This is what happens when naivety meets chutzpah.
4. Three Women: Sarah Bergmann, Susie Lee and Katrina Spade.
Three radical and fearless thinkers from Seattle who are all looking to alter landscapes. Sarah wants to change the American landscape with her Pollinator Pathway project, which plans to link all public parks in the United States. Susie wants to change the landscape of love with Siren ― a new dating app that shifts the online dating focus from selling yourself to actually being yourself. Katrina wants to change the landscape of how we die, with her Urban Death Project – an investigation into human composting. Yes, you read that correctly.
5. Baxter Cardosi
I was late to the game on the whole dog love thing ― and frankly, I judged all of you dog owners. Seriously… they are just dogs! Now I eat those words. Meet the dude that introduced me to the meaning of constant and unconditional love. Note the camouflage gear. I became that guy.