The project is a new Reception Desk and exterior improvements for the California African American Museum as part of a museum-wide brand refresh and facilities upgrade. Then-Deputy Director Naima J. Keith sought to rethink the museum’s front desk, which was not properly serving the staff or its visitors.
Chu ¬ Gooding sought to transform CAAM’s aging, circular information desk into a welcoming, modern reception desk that acts as a centerpiece of the venue and corresponds with the museum’s rejuvenated branding and interiors.
Accommodating the numerous functions the Reception Desk must serve, Chu ¬ Gooding created opportunities for visitor seating at various levels and ample storage for backpacks, food and drinks, coats, and skateboards.
The design strategy also included cell phone charging stations for visitors, clipboard wells, a sound control board, an acrylic case for brochures, and a flexible rolling island. During museum events, the Reception Desk can even act as a deployable DJ booth and food & beverage service station.
During the design and fabrication of the new Reception Desk, Chu ¬ Gooding was pleased to consult with CAAM on the museum’s exterior improvements in collaboration with graphic designer Julia Luke – as well as provide exhibition design services for the 2017-18 exhibition, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85.