AAM 2012 – Minneapolis, Day 3, Tuesday (Measuring Complex Behavioral Change)

Day three session highlight was on summative evaluation methodologies undertaken by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. The ICSC is a US-based group that is a worldwide network of “Sites of Conscience” – historic sites specifically dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies. A full description of their work can be found through the Resource Links, below.

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AAM 2012 – Minneapolis, Day 3, Tuesday (Exhibiting Design Tragedy????)

Today I’m taking a break from serious session reporting. (Although, I’ll circle back ’round to report out a session on museums of social conscience tomorrow.)

The NAME (National Association for Museum Exhibition) luncheon is always a chance to see old exhibit friends and meet new. The event started in the more typical beginnings – food, chit-chat, etc. and ended in a group exercise driven by an artist/fellow from the Franconia Sculpture Park, about an hour from the Twin Cities.

Check out the work at the Franconia Sculpture Park, if you get a chance.

After hearing about the sculpture making, programs for artist and kids, the NAME contingency was given its group marching orders. Build a poetically driven sculpture with 50+ artists in about 20 minutes with lathe and tape. A feat for any group, let alone control freak exhibit designers.

The resulting effort appeared as such, below. It’s amazing any of us keep our jobs and clients after this effort…

AAM Conference NAME Design Flop 2012

AAM 2012 – Minneapolis, Day 2, Monday (Exhibiting Human Tragedy)

A session highlight from today’s AAM was “In Memoriam: Interpreting Human Tragedy”. Panelists were from institutions including Holocaust remembrance museums, 9/11 memorials, and academics involved with conveying the histories and stories association with tragic events. The common thread through all these presenters were that they are all telling the histories through the eyes of the victim – which is the more likely vantage point that these events are commemorated in museums and memorials. (Indeed, many war memorials are often commemorating victories, albeit with those whose lives were sacrificed as a central focus.)

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AAM 2012 – Minneapolis, Day 1, Sunday (Families in Interactive Art Galleries)

Greetings from Minneapolis – home of this year’s American Associations of Museum’s conference. The AAM conference is always a bit of a whirlwind of connecting with old colleagues, seeing the latest and greatest, and sometimes wondering why the same themes always seems to emerge…

Today’s sessions highlight was a presentation from a group of art museum educators who have recently completed an IMLS grant to formally research the role of family learning within interactive galleries. They’ve developed an extremely rich web resource at www.familiesinartmuseums.org. Check it out. It’s the kind of quality work that I hope for throughout the conference.

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Curation 3.0

Curation. The word is used by new media content creators for their work in crafting web content. It prompts me to draw comparisons to bricks-and-mortar content of one of the original “internets”, the museum. How might my real world exhibits be informed by this online content creation – how it’s shared, conveyed and experienced? By drawing connections and differences between these two curated environments I hope to harness practical thoughts about bridging between curator 1.0 (museum – all the players creating the exhibit, not just the content expert) and curator 2.0 (cyber). It’s my hope that both 1.0 and 2.0 can inform each other, perhaps in something like new-curator 3.0.

In this first post in a series I’ll make observations through a few key metrics considered by both cyber and real world creators. Audience, duration, depth and validation are four aspects of many that 1.0 and 2.0 use in similar and distinct ways. In later postings I’ll look at additional measures of comparison. I’ll also present new models of curated spaces that are moving towards curator 3.0.

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Danish Doors

Last summer I spent about a month with my family in Denmark on the small island of Thurø, off the larger island of Funen. Funen (pronounced fyun, sort of) is often referred to at the “garden island” as it’s mostly agricultural and well-populated by castles and landscapes ranging from formal gardens to wilderness. The largest town on Funen is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson, by the way.

Our home was the vicarage of a hundreds of years old church, and explorations of local areas included the adjacent tiny island of Ærø with the most enchanting residences, all zero lot line and with perhaps the greatest concentration of diversity of entry designs any place on earth.

Below are twelve of the nearly fifty I photographed in one afternoon (and I missed far more than a photographed). Click on any of them for more detail and a slideshow.

Head Turning Photo

I just love this photo. A commentary on California drivers in the Rockies?

The thing is that I’m sure a couple of folks simply went over and helped this poor car right itself. Technology, like cars, are much more complex today and this is fun reminder of a time when we were more closely and personally connected and accountable to the things we use.

This is one of the images used as a background on studiotectonic.com that’s worthy of sharing in the foreground…

Image of flipped car, Dudley T. Smith Sr. (c)

MIT Creates Wayfinding Mobile Guide

Found this interesting post on Fast Company about experimental personal wayfinding systems using the magnetic properties of indoor spaces and mobile devices. Obviously not ready for primetime, but imagine if implemented. All I can say is watch out…lost souls will be colliding everywhere!


Never Lost: MIT Creates Wayfinding Arrows Projected From Your Cellphone


More at Never Lost: MIT Creates Wayfinding Arrows Projected From Your Cellphone | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Studio Tectonic Featured at Nest.com

Studio Tectonic recently installed a thermostat designed by Bould Design for Nest. Here’s a bit from the nest.com blog posting…

Every time I see a photo of the Nest Learning Thermostat, it’s exciting. It doesn’t matter how many I see. We designed Nest to blend into any decor, and it’s fascinating to see our thermostat glowing warmly on walls across the country. Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite pictures of Nest – thanks so much to everyone who sent in a pic.

Seth Frankel does museum exhibition design and planning, and you can tell. He sent us a pic of his Nest in his office, Studio Tectonic.


via Nest | The Learning Thermostat | Pics of Nest.

Article: Museum Regenerating An Entire City

I recently read this article on a new museum in Mexico that is a centerpiece in urban redevelopment. I enjoyed the power of a museum as a catalyst for community change through storing design

– Seth


How A Museum Can Regenerate An Entire City


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