Friday, August 10, 2018

Where's The Chairs?

Sit down before you read this. If you're at home, or even reading this on your iPhone, there's probably a seat nearby.

Unfortunately, if you're visiting a museum or gallery, finding a place to sit and/or rest might be a lot more difficult. Art museums, perhaps because of their deliberately "contemplative" nature (or the advanced age of many of their patrons) do a much better job of providing seating in gallery spaces than other types of museums.

Paradoxically, the types of museums that we often think of as the most interactive, Children's Museums and Science Museums, often have the least seating available inside their exhibition spaces. One reason often given for the lack of seating is that "we want parents to play with their kids, not sit down!"

This is the sort of bogus, passive/aggressive, museum-speak that really infuriates me. You can't "force" someone to engage with their children by taking away all the seats like a twisted game of musical chairs. An ideal museum visit will have a rhythm of activity --- sometimes quiet and contemplative, sometimes more mentally and/or physically active --- and museum designers should encourage, but not "force" people to engage in exhibit experiences in these different ways. Also, if you believe that eliminating seating options is going to coerce adult caregivers into stopping their young charges from racing around your museum or tearing up your exhibits, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!

Leaving all that aside, what are some of the parameters to consider when selecting seating for any type of exhibition gallery? Personally, I think sturdy, movable seats, like stools or benches, are your best bet. Flexible seating arrangements let visitors shift things around a little, and you might even learn a little bit about how visitors are using (or not using) your exhibits by watching how the seats get rearranged.

Here are a few suggestions regarding seating options for museums:

On the low(er) end of the budget spectrum, IKEA (as I've mentioned in a previous post) provides simple, durable seating options. (Like the "Kritter" bench pictured above.)

If you have more money to spend, I really like the Alvar Aalto stools and benches. Clean design, and stackable. (If you get the stools, choose the more stable 4-legged option for museum use.)

Other good options for purchasing simple, durable seating are from Library furniture suppliers like Gaylord or Highland Park.

So, please consider your visitors, and think of ways to provide seating in your museum's exhibition spaces. (I'll sit down and be quiet now.)

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

7 "Red Flag" Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Next Project

Why do some museum/exhibit/design projects succeed while other projects either spin their wheels for years or just crash and burn?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately since almost all of my current work involves "start from scratch" projects set up to create entirely new museums or installations rather than adapting or designing experiences for existing institutions.

One of these start-up projects, in particular, is operating under the long shadow of a recent design process that failed, and that left a lot of bad feelings (and canceled checks!) behind.  So now, in addition to working hard to create a successful new project, our design team is constantly beating back the ghosts of past mistakes in the minds of funders and stakeholders. 

One thing that's been helpful is to differentiate the parts of our current creative process that are not related to the "pain points" the client team and stakeholders have experienced previously.  It really boils down to a few essential elements.

So here's a list of my seven "red flag" questions --- issues or attitudes that I really watch out for before I decide to join a project, or try to prevent from taking root during the twists and turns on the road to a successful project completion:

This Year's Model?
Are your design ideas based on community input with a mind toward project sustainability (economically, operationally, ecologically) or are you just chasing fads?  There was a time when every new museum seemingly had to open with an IMAX theater and/or a huge traveling exhibition space whether those business models made sense or not.

I love the Make(r) Movement but just slapping a "Make" sign on your old recycled art space because "Maker Spaces" are cool is a bit like putting old wine in new bottles, isn't it?   The true spirit of a sustainable and evolving Maker Space (for example) has to involve the work of connecting with local tools, people, and resources, not just latching onto the buzzwords.

Leggo That Ego?
Is one person's (or one group's) ego constantly driving the creative process?  There should be no shortage of strong opinions that get batted around during a project, but at the end of the day, are the final decisions that are being made project-oriented or personality driven?

Who's On Your Team?
Are the people in your project group "team players" in every dimension?  Do they respect each other? Do they truly want to engage the communities who will visit the museum?  Do they look for ways to creatively partner with other museums and organizations?  Or is everything a "we know best" situation?

What Does "World's Best" Mean?

I've written posts about this topic before.  It is great to set the bar high, but at least know what you're talking about. What specifically would make your new museum "world class"?  If you can't meaningfully answer that question, you don't seem aspirational, you seem delusional.

Do You Really Need A Ferrari?

Do the design solutions you're developing really fit the project and the place where it's located?  I sincerely believe that every community should have great cultural institutions, but you don't build a Ferrari when a Ford will do the trick.  Find the right tools for the right tasks.

What's Under The Hood? 
No prospective creative partner is perfect, but you owe it to your project to "check under the hood" a bit.  Ask your design team to describe a previous project that ran into a snag or two, and what steps they took to address and resolve the challenges.  If they can't come up with a credible answer or, worse yet, say that nothing like that has ever come up --- RUN! 

It's easy for everyone to be happy and excited at the beginning of a project when the schedule and budget seem great, but what happens when you all hit that first big pothole together?

Built To Last?
Let's finish where we started --- talking about sustainability.  Is your project built to last?  Are you creating true "internal capacity" (one of my favorite topics!) that will help your organization and your organization's employees and volunteers constantly grow and improve?  Or are you happy to throw your lot in with a bunch of "one-stop shopping" hucksters who will promise to do all the hard work for you as long as you keep writing checks?  I can show you many new(er) museums that,  just a few years after they opened, are sorry they made that choice.

What do you think?  Did we miss any important "red flags"?  Let us know in the "Comments" Section below!

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Museum/Exhibit/Design Inspiration: Poetic Kinetics

Poetic Kinetics transforms public spaces with their kinetic art.

The group, based in Los Angeles, has created site-specific work all around the world.  I'll call out a few exceptional pieces that stood out for me, but you should really click on over to the Poetic Kinetics website and YouTube channel to get a broader sense of their work.

Liquid Shard, pictured at the top of this post and in the video embedded below, was a large-scale sculpture made out of holographic mylar and monofilament installed across Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles. The wind and air currents in the square cause the piece's two layers to rise and fall from 15 feet off the ground to 115 feet in the air.

Escape Velocity,  a giant mobile Astronaut amazed fans and performers during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, hovering over concertgoers and interacting with them as they passed by. Radio-controlled animatronics gave the Astronaut the ability to articulate life-like gestures, such as peace and thumbs up signs. Video projection mapping allowed participants to have their face projected into the helmet visor as well as have their name appear on the suit’s nametag. There's a cool YouTube video of the creation and installation of the Astronaut here.

Nimbus is an installation that transforms a transitional space into a performance site. The installation acts as a timepiece for Walt Disney Concert Hall as Rand Steiger’s commissioned music changes over the course of the day, alternating between computer generated musical atmospheres and compositions built from material recorded by soloists from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. These pieces, spatially distributed over 32 speakers, alternate with periods of silence interrupted by briefly related sounds triggered by motion sensors.

Let the Poetic Kinetics website and YouTube channel inspire you to think of new ways to transform the public spaces around you and your museum!

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pass The Flamingo: An Interview with Andrew Coletti

Andrew Coletti is an educator, writer and history / fantasy / food nerd who holds degrees in Classics and Museum Education. He is a full-time educator for the non-profit Salvadori Center. You can also find him teaching about ancient food (and sharing some) at the Brooklyn BraineryCaveat and other venues around New York City. His food writing has appeared in Eaten magazine and Atlas Obscura and his fantasy novella The Knife’s Daughter is now available from Pink Narcissus Press.  

Andrew was kind enough to answer some questions about his work and background in this interview for ExhibiTricks readers.

What’s your educational background?
I have a BA in Classics from Bard College and a Masters in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education.

What got you interested in Museums?
During college, I got a summer job as an intern in the Education Department of the MFA in Boston. I had never really heard of museum education as a field, so I’m not sure how I found the job posting or what made me decide to apply, but I’m glad I did! That summer I got to develop teacher resources to supplement school programs, and I fell in love with museums and education from there.

What prompted you to start your “Pass the Flamingo” blog?
I’ve always loved the ancient world and over time, I realized that food was a great way of bringing ancient history to life for people. I had been giving lecture-based classes for adults on ancient history at the Brooklyn Brainery for a while when I decided to incorporate some food, using a cookbook of reconstructions I had sitting on my bookshelf but had never really used. I made Mesopotamian beer for people to sample at my Mesopotamia class and later hosted a Roman dinner party at home using recipes from the same book. 

I had been steadily gaining an interest in cooking around the same time, so I was really excited to have found a way to combine my interests. Soon I was giving classes at the Brainery specifically on ancient food, with a menu of samples. The blog developed out of those classes. Since then, I’ve gotten to present about ancient food at museums and educational venues outside the Brainery and publish my food writing outside of my blog.

Tell us a little bit about how your background informs your work?
One of my college professors used to joke that majoring in Classics is like majoring in everything. You get a little bit each of history, language, art history, philosophy, etc. and you learn to be a good writer, which is a skill you can apply anywhere. I try to take some of that well-roundedness that I was encouraged to cultivate in college into the work I do.

Because I didn’t study education until grad school, my approach to teaching and curriculum development is very influenced by Bank Street’s philosophy. I’m big into hands-on experiential learning with multiple sensory levels, and that has informed my approach to ancient history as well, such as the food blog and classes.

What are some of your favorite online (or offline!) resources for people interested in finding out more about the latest thinking on ancient history?

 All Mesopotamia (Find them at Facebook or They post really cool and informative articles that take a deeper dive into Mesopotamian culture and history.

 Eidolon ( Fun modern Classics scholarship, often slightly tongue-in-cheek or with a pop cultural bent

 Colleen Darnell (@vintage_egyptologist on Instagram): A professor of Egyptology at Yale who also happens to be obsessed with vintage fashion. She posts interesting snippets of Ancient Egyptian history and literature with images of herself in fabulous 1920s garb.

What advice would you have for fellow cultural workers and educators, especially those from smaller institutions, in bringing an appreciation of ancient history into their work?
Be flexible and embrace new interpretations of old material, and don’t be afraid to introduce a historical parallel or connection where it might not be expected. You’d be surprised the number of connections you can make between ancient and modern people’s lives, especially when you look at common human experiences (like food, love/sex, and death). 

When I teach my ancient food classes, the most important thing I want people to take away from the experience is that ancient people really weren’t that different from us. If you can believe that, it’s easier to see how it can be relevant to your own life, which is the biggest hurdle people have to overcome to get interested in or excited about the ancient world: what does it have to do with me?

What do you think is the “next frontier” for museums?
I feel like I am seeing museums increasingly reinvent themselves and restructure their way of presenting their collections, although some institutions are ahead of others in this regard. I think it will need to happen to a greater extent for museums to stay relevant and inspire new generations of people to care about their collections.

What are some of your favorite museums or exhibitions?
I recently got to visit the Museum of Childhood in London. It’s a really fun and different take on a children’s museum, with displays that trace the evolution of children’s toys and games over the centuries.

In the US, I love the Mesopotamian galleries at the Morgan Library & Museum and the Penn Museum museum in Philadelphia. NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on the Upper East Side often has cool temporary exhibitions.

Can you talk a little about your book?
Sure! My novella The Knife’s Daughter will be available July 10th from Pink Narcissus Press. You could say it’s loosely related to my love of food and ancient history (food comes up quite a lot and it’s set in a world inspired by ancient Korea). It’s meant as a subversion of familiar fairytale tropes, including the prince who goes on a quest; in this case, the hero is a prince who was born female but raised to consider themselves male. It’s written in the second person so that the hero is just referred to as “you.”

If money were no object, what would your “dream” museum project be?
I would like to stage a production of my college senior project (a one-act comedy in which I performed in drag as the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna), in the Ancient Near Eastern galleries at the Met.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with ExhibiTricks readers, Andrew! Find out more about Andrew's work through his ancient food blog at or @passtheflamingo on Instagram and Twitter

AND NOW THE FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!  We will be giving away two FREE copies of Andrew's new book, The Knife's Daughter to two lucky ExhibiTricks readers!  Here's what you need to do to win --- if you are not yet a subscriber to the ExhibiTricks blog, just click on the link at the very top right of this page and subscribe via email or your favorite newsreader app.  If you are already a subscriber to the ExhibiTricks blog, just send me an email and put "I want to win a copy of Andrew's new book!" in the subject line.

In either case, you must enter by July 27, 2018 to be eligible to win. One new subscriber and one existing subscriber email will be chosen at random to receive one copy of The Knife's Daughter. GOOD LUCK!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Wow! and Aha!

The 4th of July (in the U.S. at least) usually means big, celebratory fireworks shows.

I love fireworks -- you can hear the crowds ooh and ahh as each new shell explodes and sends a splash of light across the sky.  As people leave the show, many of them will exclaim "Wow! that was great!"

Fireworks are usually a "one and done" type experience. A big WOW while they are happening, but not much afterthought given to the experience.  And that's fine.

Echo Activity 2018 by Olafur Eliasson
The work of one of my favorite contemporary artists, Olafur Eliasson, has been described as "first there is Wow! followed by Aha!"

There is a visual (and often visceral) thrill in encountering Eliasson's artwork (WOW!) but then a need to step back and think about (or often, figure out) what's going on (AHA!)

It's nice to find (or create) a rhythm of exhibits and experiences in a museum so that there are plenty of Wows, but also many Ahas.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Museums and Museum Groups -- STOP COVERING YOUR A*S!

Why don't ALL museum job ads have salary ranges included?  Why don't ALL Museum Groups that host museum job ads require salary ranges be included in those ads?  The museum profession talks a good game concerning gender pay equity, fair pay, and diversifying the museum workforce. But talk, as they say, is cheap.  I expect more, and better, from the museum world than high-minded platitudes, so I want Museums and Museum Groups to:


Back in October last year, I wrote a blog post over my dismay in finding many (but not all!) museum groups still allowing ads for unpaid internships and job postings without salary ranges to be publicized through their websites and publications. I contacted the leaders of AAM, AAASLH, and NEMA to find out why they are still "covering their ads" and either got no definitive response or got a list of excuses ranging from "not wanting to upset museum members" to the concern that if salary range requirements were instituted, that museums would take their job postings "elsewhere."

I'll state again that I expect more, and better, from the museum world than such weak responses, especially when requiring salary ranges on job postings is such a tiny, tiny difficult step toward resolving pay and diversity inequities in museums, compared to the REALLY HARD steps the museum profession says it wants to take toward a fairer and more representative museum workplace.

The good news is that there are museum organizations that do require that salary ranges be included in museum job ads, and for that, they should be recognized and congratulated. The New York City Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) has such a requirement and the website Museum Jobs (a project of Museum Hack) also requires that every posting includes salary ranges.  Laura Huerta Migus, the Executive Director of the Association of Children's Museums (ACM) is also in the vanguard of museum groups by requiring salary ranges for job ad postings.  Laura was kind enough to share her thoughts with me on this subject and has graciously allowed me to quote her words here:

This is also a best practice that we’ve been adhering to for ACM’s own job postings since 2014. We don’t publish any job announcements without the actual salary range.  This has been a very important strategy, not just from an equity perspective, but also as an employer. In particular, it helps us understand if the job description (including skill requirements) matches the salary and if we need to reconsider the job description and/or minimum required skills. This has happened more than once over the past four years that I have been at ACM. For example, for our communications manager listing, we worked from the existing job description and published the salary and the respondent pool was all over the map, from new college grads to seasoned communications professionals who were seeking to take this position as a contract for their personal business. This wide spectrum of responses told us two things: 1) the salary was not high enough to attract the mid-level professional we were looking for, and 2) the job description did not have the right balance of responsibilities to appeal to the kind of candidate that we needed. So, we took down the job description, rewrote it, adjusted the salary, and reposted. The result is that we got a great (and diverse) candidate pool with the level of experience that we were looking for, and ultimately made a great hire. That said, we do have work to do to sustain a strong staff and be a competitive employer, but it is work we are making progress on for sure!

So why make such a big deal about a (seemingly) small thing like salary ranges on museum job ads?  I'll stop here and refer you to the influential "Nonprofit AF" blog and a post by Vu Le about what he calls "Salary Cloaking." Le outlines many reasons why not posting salary ranges is just plain bad business for non-profits, but let me just pick out a few of his salient points:

• It wastes everyone’s time

• It perpetuates the gender wage gap

• It starts a relationship off on a lack of trust and transparency

I really believe the museum world can do better than this, so I am going to contact (again!) the leaders of the large national museum groups that are lagging behind in requiring that salary ranges be included on museum job ad postings.  I'm going to send them a link to this blog post and ask them (again!) to change their policies and procedures and STOP COVERING THEIR ADS! 

I hope you will take a minute to contact the folks below and the leaders of other museum organizations you are associated with to let them know what you think.


American Alliance of Museums (AAM):  Laura Lott

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH): John Dichtl

New England Museum Association (NEMA): Dan Yaeger

Let's resolve this one small issue AND start tackling some of those bigger employment issues in the museum world!

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Creative Collisions: Impressions of the 2018 Ecsite Conference

A record-breaking 1,182 professionals from 58 countries gathered in Geneva, Switzerland recently for the 29th edition of the Ecsite Conference. Well, that's your headline.  But the real nitty-gritty of this year's gathering of the European network of science centers and museums was exemplified by the conference theme of "Creative Collisions."

I encountered many creative collisions at my first Ecsite Conference, and here are some of my impressions of the three days I spent there:

Thursday started well with a "Newcomers Breakfast" event.  Small tables allowed for interaction between groups of "newbie" conference attendees. Each table also included members of the Conference Planning Committee or more "seasoned" attendees to provide tips to get the maximum benefit out of the Ecsite gathering.  

The "official" start of the day began with a (mostly boring!) Opening Ceremony. Honestly, all museum conferences would do well to trim the shopworn notion of an opening event by 1/3 or 1/2, since it usually consists of an endless stream of officials offering a canned welcome speech extolling the virtues of either the host city/region or the great impact museums have on society. We all know this -- please start the conference!  (Each day has a closing evening event as well, but, to be frank, most of this year's Ecsite evening events were fairly lackluster so I won't describe them here.)

Then the "Business Bistro" (what is normally called the exhibit hall or similar in the U.S.) opened to conference attendees.  At Ecsite the exhibition hall is a true "bistro" combined with coffee break stations and regularly scheduled opportunities to socialize and meet and network (Creative Collisions!) I was surprised at the good number of vendors from outside the European Union, including a booth from the Museum of Science in Boston advertising the "Science of Pixar" exhibition. There were also numerous coffee breaks and dessert breaks after lunch held at stations in different parts of the Business Bistro, which added to the sociable feeling evident throughout the entire Ecsite Conference. The Bistro was a natural spot for conversations and "creative collisions." Well done!

Bistro Beast!

The first session I attended was called "Challenging our brains to come up with new ideas." Each panelist shared a short presentation about their own creative process. It was interesting to see the different approaches each panelist used to inform their own creative practice.

On each day there was a communal lunch break that was included in the conference registration. Attendees sat at shared tables and ate and chatted together.  This is very different from other museum conferences I have attended, where participants usually scatter in a hundred different directions during meal breaks. I think more North American conferences should adopt this shared mealtime (and networking!) practice.

My last session on Thursday was an off-site tour of CERN, the massive scientific complex a short bus ride away from the center of Geneva.  We received a wonderful tour from a volunteer guide, Jose originally from Portugal, who is an engineer with the ATLAS project. Jose was enthusiastic and really knew his stuff! Our tour lasted for several hours, and we visited four different spots --- two areas more akin to museums/visitor centers, but also two areas with "real" stuff --- the control room for the ATLAS project, and the facility where they test the many, many superconducting magnet assemblies inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  As one of my Facebook friends said, commenting on pictures of the tour, "It looks like nerd nirvana!"

CERN Visitor Center

Friday started out for me with a session called, "Small and big sins of science communication." This was a fun session filled with audience participation.  As we entered the session room we noticed a long yellow line (made of Post-It notes!) dividing the space in half.  The format allowed one person to "confess" something that they or their museum had done, and then session participants could stand on the "Yes, I have done that" or "No, not me" side of the room, responding to the original confession.  It was agreed that whatever was shared inside the workshop room would be kept in confidence, so attendees shared some difficult and emotional things. I liked the session very much, and the fun format really lets you see in a strong visual way the shared concerns that all museum professionals have.

Friday's keynote talk by James Beacham, a physicist at CERN, was AMAZING! And a truly creative collision -- perhaps one of the best conference keynotes I've ever seen.  In addition to sharing thoughts about his scientific work ("look where nobody else is looking") James also talked about the interaction of science and society ("what are our REAL priorities?")  Rather than trying to summarize the talk, let me point you to the YouTube recording that Ecsite has provided.  (I wish more museum conferences did this!)

James Beacham at Ecsite 2018

Everyone was energized and excited after James Beacham's presentation as we moved to the late morning sessions.  I participated in a two-part session on either side of the communal lunch break, "The exponential potential of narrative."  In Part One, speakers shared concrete examples of the power of narrative in their work.  One of my favorites was the unlikely use of a video production using Santa Claus, Princess Elsa (from Disney's Frozen) and Jon Snow (from Game of Thrones) to share concerns about climate change!  In Part Two, we divided into small groups (one of which I facilitated) to develop narratives on a specific topic.  It was great fun, and a great format.  My biggest takeaway was that narrative can be part of the content, design, and even the physical environment in museums.

Facilitating at the Narrative Workshop

Friday finished with a "Business Bistro Happy Hour" where each vendor's booth served drinks and snacks (usually from the exhibitor's home region or country --- so Franconian whiskey from Germany or Cheetos from the USA!) During an event like this, it is important to remember that many small drinks = several large drinks.  I left the event very happy, and I imagine the number of signed contracts increases during this particular event as well!

Saturday provided a strong finish to Ecsite 2018, with my first session called "Designing tinkering activities" that happened in the Conference's Maker Space.  It was fun to tinker, tape, and solder in a session of course, but my real takeaway was that the Ecsite 2018 Conference had both a dedicated Maker Space (filled with materials and volunteer staff for both drop-in and scheduled sessions) as well as a "GameLab" (a volunteer-staffed space filled with both digital and analogue gaming/game materials, also for drop-in or scheduled sessions.)  I saw several folks from ASTC in Geneva, so I hope they were taking notes about the possibility of having similar spaces at the ASTC Conference.

The Saturday keynote speakers had a difficult task, given the success of James Beacham's Friday talk, but the endlessly charming Enders sisters (Giulia, the author, and Jill, the illustrator) creators of the worldwide bestselling book "Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ" were completely up to the task!  Appropriate for the "Creative Collisions" conference theme, Jill and Giulia gave their talk on stage together and spoke about their shared creative process -- both good and bad.  At all times, their love for each other as siblings as well as creative partners shone through.  Plus they were funny!  A definite A+ for this talk, which Ecsite has also kindly provided on YouTube.

Giulia and Jill Enders at Ecsite 2018

Saturday finished in a blur with a trip to the "Grand Bazaar" session, a series of hands-on opportunities at different tables with different presenters in a large room where conference attendees could wander at will.  The session and activities were great, and what a pleasure (and small world!) to see Peeranut Kanhadilok from the National Science Museum in Thailand again, after meeting her a few years ago at an ASTC Conference.

Peeranut demonstration traditional Thai sound toys

The session I attended in the very last slot of the conference was called "Delicious Science"!  Each presenter discussed food-related programming at their museums, and then each presenter made some food or presented a food experiment that workshop participants could sample. The session was well-attended, perhaps because of the tasty topic, but also because the last day of the Ecsite was a FULL day, not a HALF day, as in most North American conferences. I'm sure this cut down on people leaving early on the day before -- definitely something North American museum conference planners should consider.

I enjoyed all the "creative collisions" during my first Ecsite Conference very much.  I'm sure it won't be my last!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Design Inspiration: Origami Organelles!

"Origami Organelles" seems like an oxymoron, but company founders Dominic and Melanie Delaney thought otherwise.

The two former research scientists combined their love of science with the ancient paper art of origami to create a fun way to help people better understand science concepts. 

After clicking over to the Origami Organelles website, you can purchase and download printable files which you can then cut out and assemble to better understand the structure and functions of everything from teeth to eyeballs to alcohol molecules (images of some of the finished models are pictured in this post.)

There's something nice about this tactile, making aspect of learning science that I'm sure helps Origami Organelle users really internalize the science concepts featured in the paper models.

Once you pay for a model (or a discounted bundle of models) you can print out as many as you want, so even a cash-strapped classroom teacher or museum educator can find some great inexpensive additions to a science (or maker!) program.

Check out the Origami Organelle website or Facebook page for more info.

Water Cycle Paper Model from Origami Organelles

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ask the Exhibit Doctor: Cool Museum Timelines?

I've been receiving lots of questions, and doing lots of thinking recently, about the "best" ways to create interesting timelines inside museum exhibitions.

Personally, I'd really like to get past the flat horizontal timeline examples that look like sliced-up encyclopedia pages.

Here are a couple examples (below and at the top of this post) that struck me recently:

Knoll Corporate Headquarters  < >
Nice use of dimensionality and graphical text in the Knoll Corporate Headquarters.

Multiple viewing angles for FitNation project  < >
A multi-dimensional piece for the FitNation project by ABRUZZO BODZIAK Architects in collaboration with Pentagram.

A strong geometric/photographic way to break down the history of the Earth at California Academy of Sciences.

So with the help of you, dear ExhibiTricks readers, I'd like to assemble a compendium of your most interesting and innovative ways of creating timelines inside exhibitions, akin to the Donor Recognition posts and documents I crowdsourced previously.

Please email me images and descriptions of projects you've been involved in and I'll create a (fully credited!) compendium post and a free downloadable PDF of (timely? timeless?) timeline designs!

Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

P.S. If you receive ExhibiTricks via email (or Facebook or LinkedIn) you will need to click HERE to go to the main ExhibiTricks page to make comments or view multimedia features (like videos!)