My redesign of the exhibit was basically summed up into two different changes:
1. Creating the appropriate environment
Basically achieved by isolating and enhancing the impact of the artwork through structural changes. The following images illustrate an imagined space where this occurs.
Perfect cube mimics the perfect square present in both wall and artwork, and transparent doors provide sneak peek of exhibition from the outside.
Top view of complete space, illustrating one half for the artwork and the other half for an interaction visitor space.
2. Creating new interaction that enhances current experience
Through the act of exploration and increased aural sensitivity, visitors can create a better understanding of how electronic interference has permeated our living spaces.
The visitor space is a location where visitors can pick up a set of earphones and a handheld microphone. They can then move on to explore the rest of the museum, listening and documenting the ambient noises around them.
Electronic hotspots to be labelled through the museum with red stickers, encouraging visitors to approach and listen to an amplified version of electronic interference through the microphone. Artworks that produce electronic interference, as well as museum architecture, can all be part of the experience.
My second and third presentations were both made via Prezi. The third presentation builds on the structure of the second presentation. The links below allow you to access the folders containing the presentations and the Prezi project. Download all the content and double click on the prezi icon to view the presentation.
I feel that one thing I could have worked on for this assignment was to focus on either option 1 or option 2. As both ideas are very different, with one focused on structural changes and the other on creating new interactive experiences, they may not work well together and choosing one or the other would have allowed me to develop my ideas with greater depth. Another alternative would be to pick two ideas that were truly symbiotic. In any case, it’s definitely important that a redesign respects what the artwork already successfully does.
Panasonic by Haroon Mirza is a work that is situated in the New Media gallery as part of the Double-and-Add exhibition.
More about Haroon Mirza:
Initial sketches of the exhibit:
The research is then combined into a single mindmap, which is an analogue way of making presentations.
For my museum exhibit I chose an engraving called “No Man’s Land” by James Siena. I found it on a wall of the museum and chose it because it is a piece that could easily go unnoticed. I was drawn by the abstract projections in the piece and loved the idea of the negative white space which is the “No Man’s Land”. I wanted to created an interactive exhibit which played on the qualities of the negative white space.
I decided to map the actual piece because I was interested in all of the layers and components that made of the etching.
There were two pieces in the museum that interested me. One was the Rothko and the other was the Reinhardt. I felt like the two paintings were on the verge of conversing with each other, but weren’t doing so because of their placement in the space. What drew me to the two paintings was the way they transported me to another space and immersed me in the shapes and colors. My initial ideas involved a dialogue between the paintings, but I slowly started focusing on the experience of the paintings instead. I begun to look at the interaction of people with the paintings rather than the interaction between the paintings themselves. My final idea was a website that prompted users to create art using restrictions created from an analysis of the piece of art in question. Each month would focus on one work from the gallery and there would be weekly prompts. The submitted works would be displayed in the museum alongside the paintings.
This process involved 3 presentations:
Here are the .pdfs to my presentations. I made three over the course of the project and each of them were fairly different.
I think the thing that was most important to me about this project was learning the importance of designing within the given context, and not working in a void. My second proposal basically involved letting the visitors handle the objects themselves. At the time it seemed like a logical solution, because why should an object that was designed for use be locked up in a glass box? But I realized afterwards that we were designing for specifically an art museum, whose core purpose is to maintain and preserve objects of cultural worth. In my second proposal I also said that these objects belonged in an everyday kitchen or living room, which may be true for some but definitely not so for others (i.e. Zaha Hadid probably isn’t meant to be sitting in your family dining room). I understand now that in order for the design to be successful and not just wild hypothesizing and ‘what-ifs’ that contexts and existing relationships need to be considered.
In retrospect I think that my final proposal did a good job of focusing down on a simple solution to gaining access to the objects, but it is a bit unfocused and doesn’t need the complicated addition of the iPad + iPhone arrangement. I think I was tempted to use the iPhone as an opportunity to introduce a new way of using the ubiquitous device within the museum, which wasn’t really relevant to the problem at hand. It’s a good case of trying to solve problems by throwing an app at it, which in the end complicates the situation even further.
low_museum : final documentation
This project on dynamic exhibition surely was a new challenge for me. First of all, I honestly couldn’t understand the objective of the project in the beginning. I did not know where I wanted to go with it and that confusion in the beginning went on for few days. However as I continued researching about the object and got really engaged with the problematic situation of how the object is displayed in the RISD Museum, I started to make my way through the project. As previously an artist and presently a designer, it helped to be easily annoyed by the poorly displayed exhibition. Then I was able to become intimate with the object and come up with several dynamic ideas to make it better.
What was so hard about this project was that there were several major restraints to follow, such as to only pick from 20th century gallery, and to stay within the boundary of the museum space while coming up with ideas of dynamic exhibition. Also I wasn’t very excited about working on a project that I wouldn’t be able to have the actual final form in my hand. However, now that I’m done with the project, and even during the process, I was able to understand some aspects of the project that actually helped. For instance, how all different kinds of art was stuffed in a single room for the 20th century collection definitely made it easier to point out what’s so bad about it. Also since I didn’t have to limit myself to solutions that are 100% feasible, I was able push myself to think more broadly than I would usually do for print designs. Overall, this project was new in both good way and unpleasant way. It was too separate from the things that we’ve been doing and I’ve been expecting, that I feel like it wasn’t very successful. But it definitely was a project that I required me to think deep and get engaged with the dynamic interactions that happen out there in real life.
By placing a dynamic shock mount floor in front of the Eames Dining Chair Wood in the RISD Museum, the object becomes more understandable in a tactile way.
Below please find my final slideshow, my process book PDF, and documentation of my final process book. The steps I took to complete the project are included in these materials.
Process Book PDF (In spreads)