San Diego, California
A museum designed to celebrate imagination and creativity
LPA is working with San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con) to develop the Comic-Con Museum as a year-round destination for audiences to connect with the magic of popular arts and culture. Housed in the historic Federal Building in San Diego’s Balboa Park, the museum serves a wide range of programming and education functions, in addition to spotlighting popular art, cultivating the imagination, connecting audiences with the joy of creativity, and showcasing the passion and enthusiasm of fans and creators alike.
The Comic-Con Museum operates differently than most museums. Instead of a set of permanent collections accented by one or two rotating exhibits, the Comic-Con Museum focuses on a constant stream of new and ever-changing exhibits, requiring flexible and adaptable spaces to accommodate a wide variety of creative art forms. There is also a strong focus on active education—the museum aims to cultivate a life-long passion for learning by creating avenues for self-expression and social development. The organizers want to develop the museum as a pop culture hub, creating vibrant programming that highlights the fun and excitement of creative arts, science, and technology.
The first phase of the museum’s long-range comprehensive plan focuses on the 6,000-square-foot Education Center, which will focus on promoting a love of learning rooted in standards-based education and 21st century skills. The Center will highlight the depth and breadth of popular art, including comics, science fiction, television, art, movies, mass media, fashion, and technology. Four flexible galleries on the museum’s main level will feature a continually refreshed year-round schedule of exhibits, panels, art shows, multimedia installations and experiential cinema.
Future phases will activate the outdoor areas, including dining and event spaces to highlight Comic-Con’s spirit of adventure and imagination. Improved landscaping and upgrades to the exterior of the 85-year-old historic building are also planned, further integrating the Comic-Con Museum into Balboa Park. Inside, the design calls for major renovations to the lobby, creating an appropriately unique entry experience. More gallery spaces and upgrades to the mezzanine level are also part of the plans
The new museum spaces are designed to instill a sense of awe and wonder through the exhibits and experiences, while ensuring that visitors are not overwhelmed or intimidated by the offerings. The environments will allow people to engage at progressively deeper levels based on their stay time and level of interest in the subject matter.