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Design Museum Moves Operations to Cantina HQ in Downtown Crossing

For those who might visit Cantina’s new office anytime soon, you’ll notice a number of friendly new faces around the water cooler.

Design Museum Foundation, a nonprofit design education organization dedicated to creating inspirational and intriguing exhibits, programs, and content centered on the impact of design, has agreed to move its office to Cantina’s new space.

It’s a bold new step for both organizations, but one that was taken with careful consideration. Cantina’s recent move to a bigger, more modern office creates new possibilities to share the space and co-create with organizations like Design Museum, according to Matt Chisholm, Chief Executive Officer at Cantina.

“There is no better group to have in our home than Design Museum. At Cantina we think two things are critical for innovation: surround yourself with people that share your values and inspire you, and work with people that drive change and make better futures possible. They hit on both points. We love Design Museum’s mission to educate how design can be used purposefully and to create a significant impact in the world.” - Matt Chisholm, Chief Executive Officer at Cantina

Design Museum’s eight-member team, led by Co-founder & Executive Director Sam Aquillano, is eager to explore how Cantina can influence their work — and how perhaps they can help Cantina continue to further explore new ways to utilize design to drive change.

“We're grateful to Cantina for this opportunity to not only co-locate, but to take our collaboration to the next level,” Aquillano said.

Cantina and Design Museum have worked on a number of projects together already, including the Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics exhibit in 2018, which Cantina sponsored. Cantina’s Chief Innovation Officer George White joined Design Museum Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2018.

“When we think of the types of organizations we want to align and partner with, Design Museum fits many of the criteria,” White said. “They see design as a tool for change and are focused on working within various communities to both educate and leverage design. They are a small, inspiring, and engaging team with an outsized impact. And they’re great to hang out with!”

Design Museum’s strong presence in the Boston and Portland, OR design communities has garnered some national recognition for its team. Their events and exhibits have reached hundreds of thousands of people, according to Chisholm, and in its 10-year existence has already left a lasting impact. He specifically cited its Extraordinary Playscapes project, which explored creating spaces for children to play. It led to the establishment of a permanent playground just a few blocks away from Cantina’s offices, in Chinatown.

“Having Design Museum in residence at Cantina opens up exciting possibilities,” Chisholm said. “By deepening our association with Design Museum, we are able to share our creativity and design networks to forge new projects which could help craft positive change on an even grander scale. I’m sure this will make Cantina a stronger business and member of the design community, and we hope to help further DM’s mission of furthering awareness of the impact of design with our team’s collective expertise and desire to be a positive force in our world.”

If you’d like to learn more about our co-working with the Design Museum, we’d love to hear from you.

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