It isn’t that is doesn’t matter, it is just that no matter what it looks like, the visual part of this project is it is not the interesting element of it. The interesting part is how it works and what it does. I don’t suppose anyone said any differently, but i find myself struggling to get excited about visualising this.
I am not saying it doesn’t play a vital role, it has to work and be inviting and easy to use, reflect the Museum’s brand be in line with their visual identity, but doesn’t it sound a bit like Woodward and Bernstein getting excited about using correct grammar and a nice typeface or developing a medicine and fretting about the packaging. And no, I am not comparing my project to the Watergate reporting, or medical research. it’s just an analogy. I don’t think design has to manifest itself in something visual necessarily, in this case, it does if only to communicate the system. I would rather work more on the potential of the system because what I will be proposing is very much a beginning of a system that could be implemented in the way I will be showing it, but has many more applications.
To recap, there are essentially two parts.
1. The actual stories of the objects being created by reversing the dynamic between museum and visitor/viewer and switching the authority on (hi)stories to the stakeholders from the museum
2. The visual representation, which is functional – but for me, is meant much more as an installation and metaphor for our stories and histories.
The Science Museum partners with schools and integrates their archive with the curriculum or syllabi of the schools’ classes. this could be almost any age of student and almost any subject. Certainly history, art history, or any writing class.
The students are assigned a number of arbitrary objects online which ties these objects to the student and their writing, which they research outside of the Science Museums archives, they then write a story about these objects; this could be journalistic in nature, it could be fiction or even science fiction. The student or school could even skip the research and simply ask for a cold read and story based on the assumptions made by looking at the objects. All stories are valid and valuable – if written sincerely.
The teacher would read these stories, firstly as part of the assignment, secondly as a form of quality control or editing, a troll filter if you will.
In the very beginning, these may be stand-alone stories that have little connection to each other, but eventually, objects would overlap within stories.
The school or class could see their stories in relation to each other online, but more interestingly their stories could be shown in relation to those written by other students, eventually globally one would hope. The position of each object is determined by the resultant of its connection to the stories in which it is featured. Individual systems that link up to create a larger ever-expanding universe of stories.
But really, I would prefer this
Based on John’s feedback, I might incorporate the Print-on-Demand aspect in this phase rather than at a later phase, though his suggestion of heat-printers is an interesting one. I went to see one, and it is indeed fast