Though designers make pieces that are commodities of everyday use, a lot of the functional pieces created by designers can still be considered ‘art’ in their own way.
German designer Miriam Aust of Aust Amelung created the “Vase & Leuchte” (2011) table lamp that functions as both a lamp and vase. The act of combining the element of light and plants into the design is like an experiment, giving the piece a laboratory aesthetic. The plants are placed in the main bowl structure with water, and the light bulb is protected by a glass structure, similar to a laboratory glass beaker, in the middle of the bowl. This allows for the light to travel through the plants, highlighting unique elements such as the vascular tissue of leaves or reflecting root patterns onto walls. You can order your very own “Vase & Leuchte” at the dua shop.
Japanese product designer Yuma Kuno has created a slightly similar piece, involving light bulbs as vases. In 2007, Japan’s Ministry of Environment asked companies to stop using inefficient incandescent light bulbs. Kuno saw a chance to use these obsolete objects and change their function to something useful; the bulbs can hold small flowers, and even the filament is used as a stem holder.
Whether highlighting the aesthetic biology of a plant or merely being used as a simple holder for one, both the works of Miriam Aust and Yuma Kuno are great design ideas!
#finding good questions
But the simplest evidence I have for the statement that design impacts visitor contributions comes from a formative evaluation
performed at LACMALab for their nano
exhibition in 2004. In the report, evaluator Marianna Adams described a simple experiment in visitor response. LACMALab took one question—“What connections do you see between art and science?”—and created two ways for visitors to respond. In March, visitors were offered white 4”x6” notecards and golf pencils. In April, these were replaced with blue hexagonal cards and full-size pencils.
What did they find? From the report:
The percentage of “unrelated” responses for this question decreased from 58% (with the white cards) to 40% (with the blue cards), and “specific” responses nearly doubled, increasing from 28% (with the white cards) to 50% (with the blue cards). These findings strongly support Hayes (2003) research that while the question itself has an important effect on the quality of visitor responses, the physical design of the response areas plays a prominent role in eliciting richer responses and decreasing unrelated ones.
Does this mean that visitor response stations should always use hexagonal blue cards and full-size pencils? Of course not. This finding suggests that giving people unusual or special tools can increase their dedication and focus on the task at hand. Other studies comparing regular pens and silver pens have had similar results.
This kind of experiment is called an A/B test. The museum compared visitor behavior in setup A to that in setup B.
Most museum prototyping does not follow an A/B model. We test one thing, learn from how visitors respond, and (hopefully) reiterate for the next round. This may make sense if you are trying to see how someone explores a space or approaches an activity, but it’s not nearly as useful as A/B testing if you’re trying to figure out how to write a great label or design a good question for visitor response.
Touching The Tactile — workshop at Medical Museion, 10-11 April, 2014 →
The aim of the workshop is “to approach the sense of touch via a series of hands-on investigations and discussions that will take place within the context of art and museum practices.”
By focusing on touch, the workshop draws attention to features that are often overlooked in the fabric of art exhibits and museum displays. More particularly, the workshop will unfurl the experience and knowledge that comes with touch and the things that we touch. These are experiences that span from intimate relationships, over the skills of diverse crafts and the knowledge of specific materials to pedagogical methods and artistic positions that entail the actual touching of objects and works (e.g. museum exhibits for visually impaired people and artworks such as Gonzalez-Torres candy spills).
Master thesis bla bla bla →
My idea is to develop a game in stop-motion (I know, crazy work, suicide, no more life, etc). After many concepts thrown in the bin, after emptying the bin and throwing in it more concepts, I found my subject.
And my subject is… Van Gogh. Because I always loved him and I will always do. Because there is so much about him, about his life, about his way to experience colors and nature, so much that everyone must know.
If you really really want to see how it goes on, keep checking this blog.
"To look at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots of a map representing towns and villages. Why, I ask myself, should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we should be able to take death to reach a star. One thing undoubtedly true in this reasoning is this: that while we are alive we cannot get to a star, any more than when we are dead we can take the train."
-Vincent Van Gogh, Letter to Theo van Gogh, July 9, 1888
I totally will. This sounds awesome!
#art shanty project
I took two friends to see the Art Shanty Project on White Bear Lake this past weekend. The project is an annual experiment in place/spacemaking, temporary autonomous zones, and site-specific art:
Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which the relatively unregulated public space of the frozen lake can be used as a new and challenging artistic environment to expand notions of what art can be.
Every year when I go out on the ice to explore the shanties, I leave thinking new thoughts about my own work. This year it was about how to create generous interactivity—that is, visitor experiences that aren’t based solely on visitor input, but rather gift the visitor with a nugget of potential to use in the spirit of co-creation. I think that’s absolutely key.
Tanisa Gunesekera: Barefoot at the Malay Heritage Centre, Singapore
I loved the Malay Heritage Centre.
Walking barefoot on the cool dark wood of Istana Kampong Gelam. Wandering into sounds of sea, drums, cafe chatter, golden cinema. Enjoying the quiet and space to think, to absorb fascinating stories and enjoy photographs, objects and multimedia displays.
I hope the video above will give you a glimpse of the multi-sensory experience that is the Malay Heritage Centre. Sight, sound, touch and smell. I haven’t shown any taste but there were ‘heritage biscuits’ (including iced gems!) on sale to complete the experience.
I was in Singapore for only 8 days, but had to visit twice - once was not enough (the second time wading through monsoon-ish rains - absolutely worth it).
Tomorrow I will share some highlights from other National Heritage Board museums and from my meeting with Education department colleagues at NHB.
In the meantime, find out more about the Malay Heritage Centre and Kampong Gelam, the area in which it is located, here.
Tanisa Gunesekera is a trainee on Cultural Co-operation’s Strengthening Our Common Life (SOCL) programme. She is based at the British Museum in theCommunity Partnerships Team until May 2014. SOCL is funded through the nationwide Skills for the Future initiative launched by the Heritage Lottery Fund. All views expressed in this post belong to Tanisa.
This sounds like an amazing sensory experience.
Learn how the Cardboard Institute of Technology (CIT) constructs disposable multiverses. #tinkeringtuesday
Working out of a huge, shared warehouse space on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, CIT builds sprawling mythologies and microworlds out of scavenged cardboard and hot glue (bought in 20 lb. boxes).
Working collaboratively as well as on their own, members of this apocalypse-embracing, power-to-the-people artists’ collective create immersive, interactive installations of all kinds—from pirate ships to galaxies—but one element that always seems to recur is what they call a shantytown: a cluster of endearing, sloppily constructed cardboard houses.
To make your own shanty, start with a strip of cardboard and score its sides to create a box shape. Use a box cutter to make holes for windows and doors.
Hot-glue your box closed. Cut another piece of cardboard into a roof shape and glue it to the walls at a sloping angle. Peel back the paper to reveal the reinforcing strips below for a corrugated metal effect. You can repurpose the topsheet by rolling it into a chimney.
Try adding wings, porches, decks, etc. Build houses of various sizes, and arrange them in a chockablock configuration for an authentic urban feel.
Want more details or suggestions? This activity and over 150 more from artists and tinkerers are featured for you to try yourself in The Art of Tinkering, available now at http://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/the-art-of-tinkering
I love the idea of making binocular views out of old TP rolls!
Rather than paying for goods, customers are paying for the space and comfort. The cost at Ziferblat is 3p per minute – which means you could stay in the cafe for almost ninety minutes at the cost of that cappuccino. Whilst there you can tinkle on the piano, make yourself a coffee with the self-serve espresso machine or grab some cookies from the cupboard and milk from the fridge. It is like a friend’s apartment, where you feel perfectly comfortable helping yourself.
Pay-per-minute Cafe Charges Customers for Being There
Alternate pay structures based on what people actually want out of an environment rather than the economic reason for creating that environment. Something worth considering for museums.
(Language nerd note: It’s interesting that museums charge “admission” rather than, IDK, “experience” or “time” or whatever they might determine visitors are really looking for.)