Sunday, May 15, 2011

Houston ACM and AAM Preview! (Plus Slow Exhibits "Sneak Peak")

Thousands of intrepid museum folks from around the world will soon be heading to Houston, Texas to attend the two back-to-back conferences being held by the Association of Children's Museums (ACM) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) respectively.

I'll be chairing and/or presenting at several sessions during my stay in Texas, so stop by to say hello (or just heckle from the cheap seats!)  Here's my presentation calendar:

Wednesday, May 18th 
Boot Stompin' Pecha Kucha Evening Event
Start your trip to ACM's InterActivity conference with a bang by attending the FREE Boot Stompin' Pecha Kucha event!  I'll be both hosting and presenting this year.

This year's Pecha Kucha evening event will run on Wednesday, May 18th from approximately 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. at The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park.  We've got a great group of presenters lined up, a cash bar, and drawings for valuable prizes (no joke!)  

(Wondering what the heck Pecha Kucha is?  It's a fun and fast-paced evening of folks presenting topics they're passionate about in a format of 20 slides of 20 seconds for each slide.  Here's a great video from author Dan Pink that gives an example of Pecha Kucha.)

Thursday, May 19th 
ACM InterActivity Conference

On Thursday morning, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 noon, I'll be speaking as part of  the "Technology in Children’s Museums" session, currently slotted in the "Windowbox" room.

I'll be sharing the dais with Julia Griffey from Webster University, and Brad Larson, President of Brad Larson Media.  We'll be covering some interesting territory, so come join the conversation!

Thursday afternoon from 3:00pm to 4:15pm,  I'll be presenting a hands-on prototyping clinic during the "Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.) Exhibits" session in the "Cottonwood" room.

Fellow presenters Becky Lindsay, of MindSplash Design, and Deb Dunkhase from The Iowa Children’s Museum will lead off by discussing the "Why" in DIY Exhibits, and then we'll finish the session with some down-and-dirty exhibit prototyping.

Sunday, May 22nd
Shifting gears now to AAM, I'll be chairing one session and presenting another at the Career Café Idea Lounge, both in the afternoon.

"Future of Exhibiting: Voices from Non-Traditional Museums" 
First up, from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm on Sunday,  I'm pleased to be chairing this session presented by Ashley Remer, Founder & Head Girl of GIRL MUSEUM,  Maria Mortati, Founder of the SF Mobile Museum, and Jon West-Bey, Director of American Poetry Museum.  

They'll be slicing up the many ways to think about what a "museum" is,  based on their own experiences running decidedly un-traditional museum organizations.

Career Café Idea Lounge: "Slow Exhibits"

On Sunday, from 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm in the Convention Center, Room 370 B, I'll be hosting a round-table discussion about the notion of "Slow Exhibits."

Taking a page from the "Slow Food" movement and their central tenets of Good, Clean, and Fair; I've been thinking a lot about how we make exhibits, and how we hope people might engage with our exhibits.  Given the rapid-paced and hyper-connected world we live in, are museums responding by creating exhibit spaces and designed environments that do not lend themselves to contemplation and concentration?

So we'll be talking about and considering design resources and environmental cues that reward visitors for slowing down and engaging more carefully with exhibition spaces and objects --- and actually taking the time to enjoy their experience and create lasting memories.

So that's it for me.  I hope to meet or reconnect with many of you in Houston, and for those not able to make the trip to Texas, stay tuned to the blog, or my Twitter feed (@museum_exhibits) for sporadic updates from the conferences and environs!

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