Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Light, Color, and Beauty


Since the connected topics of light, color, and beauty seemed to come up so often during my experiences at the recent ASTC Conference in Pittsburgh, I thought I'd share some of my favorite light/beauty inspirations.

A wonderful example is Sainte-Chapelle, the royal chapel completed in the year 1248 in Paris.

It is amazing to step inside the chapel surrounded by multi-story stained-glass windows.  The light and color shifts and changes as you move around inside the space.  In some ways, it feels like you are actually inside a stained-glass window!



A more modern take on employing light and color in architecture is artist Olafur Eliasson's installation called Your rainbow panorama.



Situated on top of the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum art museum in Aarhus, Denmark, Your rainbow panorama invites you to experience the familiar (a city skyline) in unfamiliar ways. Olafur Eliasson's creation consists of a 150-meter-long and three meter-wide circular walkway in glass in all the colors of the spectrum. Your rainbow panorama is mounted on slender columns 3.5 meters above the roof of ARoS with a diameter of 52 meters.





Here's a quote from Eliasson about this work:

Your rainbow panorama establishes a dialogue with the existing architecture and reinforces what was already there, that is to say the view across the city. I have created a space that can almost be said to erase the boundary between inside and outside – a place where you become a little uncertain as to whether you have stepped into a work of art or into part of the museum. This uncertainty is important to me, as it encourages people to think and sense beyond the limits within which they are accustomed to function.” 



Architect Keiichiro Sako takes the playful aspects of light and color into the design of this kindergarten building in China.





The lucky students are completely surrounded by rainbow colors -- on the stairs, in windows, and inside their classroom spaces!




Of course, the most fun is building and playing with beautiful light and color yourself. For that purpose, I'd suggest getting some colorful, translucent Magna-Tiles  (You can get them here at Amazon, or at other online stores.) I hope your days ahead are filled with light and color and beauty!





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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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Friday, September 9, 2022

Off to Pittsburgh and the ASTC 2022 Conference!


I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new folks at the upcoming ASTC 2022 Conference in Pittsburgh!

POW! is proud to be one of this year's Conference Sponsors.

If you aren't able to attend this year's conference in person, you can check out my reports from Pittsburgh on my Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram channels.

However, if you will be in Pittsburgh, I have a special bonus for ExhibiTricks readers!  The first three conference attendees who find me each day and mention ExhibiTricks will receive a fabulous prize! (HINT: I've written about this project in a blog post during this past June.)

Looking forward to a fantastic ASTC 2022 Conference!



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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

What's your Plan B?


As an exhibits person, I always like to have a "Plan B" (or even Plan C or Plan D!) to deal with anticipated problems.  Do you have spare parts at the ready for your interactive exhibits?  Do you have a secondary (or tertiary!) installation schedule in place to deal with the seemingly inevitable construction delays for new museum buildings?

Those are good plans to make because even if those anticipated challenges never happen, you can still feel prepared.

But what about unexpected or unanticipated problems -- things that leave you feeling woefully unprepared or downright baffled? 

Take, for example, the pipe that burst in my workshop yesterday.  Unfortunately, the break occurred in between the exterior wall and the water meter, so the shut-off valve was after the burst section, which meant the only real way to definitively resolve the problem was to turn the water off outside the building at the curb.

After calling my wife at work, the fire department, and the water utility, I frantically started grabbing duct tape and rubber tubing in an effort to stop or slow down the gallons of water shooting out of the pipe like a firehose.

Eventually, a water utility worker came and turned off the water at the curb (but only after having to break open the metal cover to the access pipe -- but that's another story ... )

Anyway, as I spent today cleaning and running fans and calling insurance companies and plumbers, I realized that I had no real "Plan B" for what had happened with the burst pipe.  I just had to trust and rely on a set of existing systems to carry me through to a place where I could begin to put things back to "normal." 

I guess I share this to say that it is good to have a "Plan B," but it's also ok to realize that sometimes we will be caught off-guard.

In that spirit, I close by sharing this poem:


“Our Real Work” by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.




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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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Friday, August 19, 2022

What's the Definition of Done?


It was my great pleasure recently to share a conversation with Christian Greer, President & CEO at Michigan Science Center, which you can see here on the POW! YouTube Channel.

Christian focused on the notion of "What's the Definition of Done?" and mentioned some great resources and tips that museum folks can use.

On the one hand, a project is "done" when the money and/or time run out, but from another perspective, projects should never truly be finished because there are always possibilities for growth and evolution.

Wherever you land on that philosophical spectrum, you should check out Christian's video -- it's short, but packed with great information!



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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Design Inspiration -- Life Stats


Time is a topic that many types of museums touch on.

The Web-based app called Life Stats was developed by creative coder Neal Agarwal to graphically show things that have happened since the day you were born.

Life Stats ranges from very personal things (How many breaths have you taken?  What's the total amount of time you have been asleep?) to very universal and global things (How many times have you orbited the Sun? How much has the world literacy rate increased?)



This approach could be a fun addition to exhibitions or programming centered around the human body or topics related to space and time.

Click over to Life Stats and other interesting projects from Neal Agarwal to find out more!






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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Cool Design Tool: WhatTheFont



Have you ever seen an interesting font on a product package or in an advertisement and wondered, "What is that font?"

If so, the free Web-based app called WhatTheFont is for you!

WhatTheFont searches a collection of over 133,000 font styles and finds the best match for the fonts in your photo. The company behind WhatTheFont will also sell you fonts from your searches if you want to use them for your current graphics projects.

WhatTheFont even works when there’s more than one font in an image because the app lets you draw a crop box around specific areas of type. (Like the turtle food container shown below ... )






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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"