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Diane Drubay: Why We Need Permeability to Build the Future of Museums

In her talk at the Community Leadership Summit 3, Diane explains why museums adhering to the biological values of permeability will help sustain their position in the future.

Diane Drubay is the founder of the WeAreMuseums community and a curator at Museum Connections. In this lightning talk, she discusses why we need permeability to build the future of museums.




Key Learnings:

From community to movement

WeAreMuseums started as a global community of practice, then evolved into a movement. This movement builds on the belief that museums are decreasingly neutral and therefore, the nurturing of the museum’s relationships within its local community.

Biodiversity within the spectrum of museums

Based on inspiration from biological concepts, the community of museums can learn how to establish closer connections to their neighbors faster and more efficiently in order to hopefully build a larger ecosystem.


— Museumhood


By merging the concepts of neighborhood and museums, they could build a stronger sense of community and a source of inspiration for museums to change the way they set-up a collection, a space, an exhibition or activities.


— Permeability


One element is never enough, the right combination of elements is needed. With permeability, you need open spaces, infiltration, porosity and redundancy. For instance, the skin of African elephants is permeable with its adaptability to different climates, textures and its diversity of shapes.

— A permeable community?

Permeability can be applied to how you structure a movement as a way to more easily infiltrate or communicate with your neighbours and community by understanding architecture and behaviour differently. For instance, Tate Neighbours and cultural community-based workshops are strong initiatives to connect with the local community in a consistent and efficient way.

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