Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing Like the Real Thing

By Maria Mortati, Sr. Exhibit Developer

Yes, yes, yes. The web is a wonderful tool. It provides for cost-effective virtual museum visits. When you’re talking about developing a shared vocabulary about spatial experiences however, nothing beats the real thing.

Last week we took a client on a “Bay Area Benchmarking” trip. We visited a diverse set of historic, art, science, and children’s museums.

This took many hours of discussions about exhibits and environmental relationships further down the field than any rendering or slideshow we have produced in the past.

Now our entire team has a shared vocabulary of experience around such intangibles as:
  • what the tone of a particular museum was like
  • how some interactives that sounded promising online are not as compelling in person
  • the importance of the arrival experience
  • power of materials and lighting 
...and more. This is especially important on museum projects where often you have non-spatial thinkers on a project team. They may not have the vocabulary or skills to articulate their needs, but put them in a spatial... wait, experiential context, and they become empowered.

So get off your internet and out into the world.

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