Current Work: American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation Project Study

Architects and museum leadership discuss the collaborative process of creating the Center.

October 25, 2023
7:00 p.m.

Studio Gang | Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, 2023. Image credit: Iwan Baan, courtesy Studio Gang

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

In 2023, the Current Work series will look at collaborative design processes across scales, from urban design to individual buildings. In an effort to reflect the many disciplines that are involved in the processes of design and building, rather than focusing on individual practitioners or firms, each event will instead explore a single project or instance of collaboration.

The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is the latest addition to New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), opening to the public in April 2023. Designed by Studio Gang, the Center’s architecture comes together around a five-story atrium and opens into interactive exhibition spaces featuring live insects and the Museum’s library of more than three million scientific specimens, allowing visitors a view of working collections areas. The Center is designed to encourage exploration, expanding access to the Museum and uniting the 26 buildings which make up the historic institution.

In a unique gathering, the program will include presentations from both the client and the designer, with participation from Studio Gang and AMNH leadership. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion about the collaborative process behind this major project, as well as audience Q&A.


Lisa Gugenheim is the director of the American Museum of Natural History, appointed in 2021 after serving since 1996 in positions of leadership at AMNH in strategic planning, institutional advancement, education, and government relations.

Weston Walker is a design principal and the partner in charge of Studio Gang’s New York office. Walker led the design process for the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, having presided over the studio’s diverse portfolio of New York projects including FDNY’s Rescue Company 2 and Solar Carve Tower. 

The panel discussion will be moderated by Julie V. Iovine. Following several decades as a design and architecture journalist including as a reporter at The New York Times, architecture critic at The Wall Street Journal and executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, Iovine earned a degree in Animal Behavior and Conservation. She is now involved in training dogs privately and for Pets for Vets, and serves on the board of Animals & Society Institute.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The event is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.