Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Exhibits Exchange: Give Old Exhibits A New Home!

Everyone knows what happens to new exhibits --- visitors and staff marvel at their shiny good looks and cool new technology and interesting content ideas and graphics.

But what happens to old exhibit components after an exhibition gallery closes? Unfortunately, many perfectly functional exhibits simply end up in a dumpster or tucked into a dank corner of a storage warehouse for years because most museums focus on making new stuff, not repurposing old stuff.

And that's a disgrace for a field that piously beats the green design/sustainable exhibits drum all the time. (Not to mention that during these tricky economic times --- wouldn't it be much better to figure out ways to share or sell "old" exhibits with other museums that could repurpose or refurbish the exhibit elements?)

So what can be done? Well first I'd like to revisit an idea I tried to get started several years ago --- namely an "Exhibits Exchange" sort of like Craigslist for used exhibits. I think the idea has merit and would be a good thing for museums with unused but still usable exhibits and recipient institutions (why limit the "receivers" to museums if library, schools, or universities might be interested?) If you have ideas about this, or would like to help me set up such an exchange network, please contact me directly or leave a comment below.

But right now, here's a real Exhibit Exchange opportunity!

My pal Clifford Wagner and I have repurposed four wonderful exhibits that were languishing in a big museum's storage facility and we are now offering them for sale.

Looking for some great exhibits at great prices? Then look no further, and help give these exhibits a new home!

You can see videos of the four exhibits on YouTube (just click on the following links) Chaotic Ball, Poetry Machine, Double Chaotic Cone, and Resonant Rings.  Please contact me directly if you're interested in any of these exhibits.  UPDATE: The Resonant Rings and Chaotic Ball devices are now sold!

I've got one last crazy idea for helping cash-strapped museums to develop inexpensive exhibit components --- but I'll save that for a future post!

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1 comment:

  1. Top idea Paul - tkes me back to the early days when I used to do a'white elephants and trojan horses' column for Melanie's informal news roundups which was like an 80's Craig's List for science centre exhibits, parts and general stuff