Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exhibit Design Inspiration: Mining The Dollar Store

I find a special pleasure in putting things (especially inexpensive or unexpected things!) to creative use for projects.  (There's a good reason I edited the three ASTC Exhibit Cheapbooks ...)  I love going through "mom and pop" hardware stores, or Home Depot, or the Dollar Store, or even Staples, to find interesting materials for current or future exhibit projects.  Online cruising for materials (like the McMaster-Carr catalog) is great, but it's a different experience than being able to actually pick up stuff and give it a good look in the "real" (non-digital ) world.

This is Exhibit Design 101 as far as I'm concerned.  It's much better to have a good sense of materials and suppliers ahead of time, before trying to find specific parts or widgets for a project in a last-minute panic.

So imagine my delight in finding the videos and blog from the XRobot folks from the UK.  Here are enthusiastic makers who are dedicated to making awesome things (like the "Terminator" endoskull pictured at the top of this post) with material from the Dollar Store (or as James from XRobots says "The Pound Shop" or "The 99p Shop.")

So why not do two things to nurture your inner "thrifty designer" today? 

1) Check out the XRobots site, and

2) Visit your local Dollar Store or hardware store and see what cool stuff you can turn up.

Let us know what you find, or share your own favorite "creative design on the cheap" tips, in the Comments" Section below.

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