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The inside scoop

A few weeks ago, in 2008, I got on my Commodore 64 and wrote about technology moving into the physical museum environment.  I was thinking mainly about the differences between our online IMA visitors and those that physically visit the museum. How will our in-house visitors interact with our online content?  I still don’t know, but we’re inching closer to the opening of this technology-focused space, The Davis LAB, on January 24th.  As a sneak peak, I thought I would share some design concepts of the space, including some of the innovative graphic design work being created by IMA’s Design Studio.

Initial graphic treatment

Initial graphic treatment by Matt K

It’s not typical for us (or other museums/institutions) to share pending design or identity work.  But in the spirit of transparency, not taking ourselves too seriously, and just ‘doing it’, I thought I would share some of the preliminary work and concepts.  Earlier this week I met with members of the Design Studio – David Russick – Chief Designer, Matt Kelm – Graphic Designer, and Brad Dilger – Installation Technician – to finalize plans for the reopening of this space that will include a mixture of darker wall tones, versions of the graphic treatments in this post, track lighting,  a large projection, touch screen computers and furniture featured by the Design Center (you can actually buy the furniture that will be in The Davis LAB).

Space, as of yesterday (no flash!)

Space, as of yesterday (no flash!)

There has been a real conscious decision by David and Matt to tie in creative solutions to the integration of graphic design, furniture and technology.  It’s hard to truly visualize the end result based on flat drawings, paint chips and carpet samples, but I’m starting to see it come together and I’m really excited.  It will be unlike any other space in the museum and both David and Matt have shown real awareness of the needs of this environment.

Periodic table inspired graphic

Periodic table inspired graphic by Matt K

In terms of technology, we will be debuting a brand new video website via a projector and providing a comfortable environment, where visitors can lounge, search and select what they want to watch (remember, I’m against the orientation video).  We also want to encourage participation from our visitors, so we are installing (4) computer workstations, using the new (very hip [but not Mac's]) HP Touchsmarts.  Everyone will have the opportunity to share their perspectives via many of our online identities such as this blog, Flickr, exhibition websites and other new digital projects.  We create websites and videos and podcasts because we want you to have meaningful and unique connections with the museum and art.  But – we also want to hear directly from you.   Don’t be shy.

Subtle prompts for you to interact

Subtle prompts for you to interact, again by Matt K

So that’s the inside scoop on what’s happening in The Davis LAB later this month.  When you combine looming deadlines, lots of work, creativity and last minute ideas, stuff has a tendency of changing – but for now, this is our design direction for this space.  Or perhaps this is a clever ploy by yours truly, to motivate you into visiting in person after January 24th.

Happy New Year!

Filed under: Design, Exhibitions, New Media, Technology

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