MyMODA launches, offering digital space for design events, programs, exhibits
By Hannah E. Jones
A new digital community has hit Atlanta’s art scene — MyMODA.
Last week, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) launched this new online platform which provides events, programs and exhibitions focused on the world of design. With these virtual offerings, folks across the world can attend events that would have otherwise been inaccessible, while also joining a community with shared interests.
MODA, located in Midtown Atlanta, is the Southeast’s only museum dedicated exclusively to studying and celebrating design. MyMODA was created in collaboration with Gather Learning with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The concept for MyMODA was borne of the pandemic when the museum was forced to temporarily close its doors in 2020. For the first time, MODA shifted to virtual offerings and their programs began gaining traction, eventually reaching folks in 45 states and 18 countries. With a much broader audience than pre-pandemic, the team chose to reopen with a commitment to becoming a hybrid organization.
“During the pandemic, this was a win for people who lived in Atlanta and the metro area,” MODA Executive Director Laura Flusche said. “Suddenly, people from Metro Atlanta that hadn’t been part of MODA before were able to join programs, and we started to see a much wider reach across Georgia.”
That’s where MyMODA comes in. With this online community, Flusche finds that busy Atlantans — adults and kids — and out-of-towners alike can join in on the conversation.
She added: “Another big win is enabling communities of people who might not have found each other, but the world gets better when they do.”
But switching to a virtual landscape isn’t always a smooth process. For a while, MODA was instructing visitors to use traditional online booking platforms, but Flusche found them difficult to navigate. Instead, the team envisioned creating a one-stop shop for museum guests.
“Virtual can be really hard,” Flusche said. “[Online registrations have] a lot to keep track of, and we felt that was not a well-designed experience for people. We thought [MyMODA] was the next step in making virtual learning and virtual interaction a much smoother and better experience.”
Not wanting to lose the communal aspect of in-person gatherings, MyMODA allows users to chat and comment on virtual content. That’s also a key component to what Flusche describes as “radical friendliness,” a key pillar in MODA’s relationship with nearby communities.
“We want everyone to feel like they’re part of MODA from the minute they walk in because arts and culture organizations can sometimes be unwelcoming or intimidating. We’ve always wanted to break that barrier down,” Flusche said. “A big question that came up for us during the pandemic was, ‘How do we take the radical friendliness of being in the museum and create a [virtual] experience?’ That will always be an evolving thing.”
With MyMODA’s recent launch, the team is working on fine-tuning the virtual world and its possibilities. Through MyMODA, adults and kids can enjoy online events and programming, join the digital community and view in-person museum exhibitions that have been converted into virtual ones.
For folks interested in learning more and signing up for MyMODA, click here.