Science Gallery

Science Gallery Detroit is part of Michigan State University, and illustrates the university’s commitment to public engagement and learning. Science Gallery Detroit produces an annual exhibition and several programs year-round that merge science and art. All programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. The gallery currently operates in pop-up fashion. For the latest events and updates visit: Detroit.ScienceGallery.com

Science Gallery

Our Partners

Global Science Gallery Network

Both events and exhibitions act as a source of inspiration to engage audiences in connective, participative, and surprising ways. Though open to all, the gallery aims to reach young adults ages 15-25, by producing creative spaces that share ground-breaking research alongside ideas from worlds of design, art, science, and technology. Science Gallery Detroit is part of the innovative engine of the Global Science Gallery Network, comprised of galleries worldwide: Dublin, London, Melbourne, Bengaluru, Venice, Rotterdam, and Atlanta.

Our Process

Founded in 2017, Science Gallery Detroit is an initiative of Michigan State University and our
nation’s first member of the prestigious, international Science Gallery Network. Science Gallery
Detroit aligns with MSU’s goal to create the next generation of public engagement and learning
to support the university’s land-grant mission. As such, Science Gallery Detroit serves as a
bridge between MSU and the diverse communities of Detroit. A place-based, informal, and
interdisciplinary learning space, Science Gallery Detroit reaches audiences in ways that diverge
from more traditional university methods and programs. Further, it leverages dialog and
collaboration to bring together university research groups, staff, students, the creative
community, and the general public.

Project Team

  • Devon Akmon, director
  • Mark Sullivan, creative director
  • Antajuan Scott, head of programming
  • Caroline White, education and learning manager
  • Natasha Miller, community engagement manager
  • Talitha Johnson, communications manager 

Updates/Results

Future Present Exhibition | Design in a Time of Urgency | 9.11.20 through 12.11.20

It was as if, with a snap of the fingers, the world changed. Before COVID-19, we were already aware of the increasingly urgent need to protect the environment, change health care systems, education, and economics. We knew something had to be done about social and economic inequality, about access to water, housing and food. All of these loomed large on the horizon.

We thought design could help create participatory and inclusive processes, and guide the construction of a sustainable and equitable global present. Then COVID-19 erupted. It brought all these problems front and center, along with a whole host of new ones, stressing out systems and people, globally and locally. To respect the constraints involved in exhibiting safely in a pandemic, we had to almost immediately rethink and refashion much of what we were doing. We had to create new and innovative ways to use content, and move our programming and mediation online, while still striving to do what Science Gallery does best: exploring a topic using a variety of creative perspectives from across arts, sciences and design.

The themes embedded in the exhibition became even more pertinent, and eerily timely: how does the design of technology impact society? What impact does design have on the built environment, and on the communities that occupy it? How does design feature in food systems and food security, in biology and scientific inquiry?  And what is the entwinement of design with social visions, such as Afro or indigenous futurism? The exhibition is especially interested in the impact of design on society, and in equitable and sustainable social change. COVID-19 has revealed quite clearly the insufficiency and undesirable nature of many of the systems and subsystems in which we live, and the urgency for systemic change. The challenge now is how to use design to guide us through our present uncertainty toward a more equitable, resilient future.

Learn more about the exhibit

View the schedule