Hi! My name is Laura Flusche. I've been the Executive Director of the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) since 2013 and a member of the MODA staff since 2010.
Prior to joining MODA, I had the great fortune to live in Rome, Italy, for 15 years. Living in the Eternal City was both intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling: I was an assistant academic dean for an American university program; taught archaeology, art history, mythology, and ancient history to undergraduates; excavated on the east slope of the Palatine Hill in the very center of the city; and co-founded The Institute of Design + Culture (iDC) with Susan Sanders. The iDC was an organization that offered smart and curious travelers a chance to take a deep dive into Rome's art, history, and culture.
I love the intersection of past and present in Rome — a quick stroll can take you from Caesar to Prada — but in 2010 I returned to the US to pursue new opportunities. I joined MODA as it was preparing to move from a problematic downtown location to the city's Midtown Arts Corridor and have been helping to shape the organization ever since. The 2011 move to a more prominent location pushed the re-start button for the museum, provoking a radical rethinking of the organization's very reason for being, sending the museum into steep growth trajectory, and fostering an atmosphere of innovation and experimentation in museum practice.
Currently, both board and staff are enthusiastically pursuing two research questions through our work at MODA: 1) what is the museum of the 21st century? and 2) can a design museum change the world? This blog is my way of documenting and musing upon the experiments underway at MODA.
The Nitty Gritty
I have a master’s degree in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a Ph.D. in Ancient Roman and Etruscan Art and Archaeology, and an M.A. in Italian Renaissance Art, both from the University of Illinois. When asked what it it's been like to transition from archaeology to design, I assertively maintain that design is archaeology backwards. I have much more to say about that.