Posted by guestblogger on March 22nd, 2010
About This Guest Post
In this guest blog post James Boardwell, Design Research Lead for Rattle, introduces us to exciting project encouraging people to engage with digital objects through different participatory media, including Twitter.
James can be contacted on Twitter using jamesb.
My Life As An Object
There are millions of objects held in our museums and galleries in the UK and yet our interpretation of them is generally constructed in the third person. They’re seen as static, inanimate things without effects, without lives.
This was the initial thought that led us at Rattle to a project for Renaissance East Midlands, an experimental project that looks to engage people around the objects’ lives. Each week for three weeks, we’re taking an object from the Nottingham galleries collection and bringing it to life in different ways, using different participatory media.
The project kicked off last Monday (15th March) with the Yellow Chopper, a story of the Raleigh Chopper which is held in the Nottingham galleries collection (as it was created in Nottingham by Raleigh). This story is quite linear, with a narrative arc spanning the life of the bike, from being given as a gift to being redundant in the shed, a victim of the next product innovation, the BMX. You can read Frankie Roberto’s overview of this bit of the project on his blog.
Subsequent stories will bring a watercolour by Paul Sandy (Tea at Englefield Green) to life and as well as Boots baby weighing scales. The objects were chosen to represent different ‘types’ of object you can find in museums and galleries and which consequently required different ‘design’ solutions to engage audiences. We won’t ruin the fun with any spoilers, so you’ll have to check in at the project site to see what happens and how the project evolves. But we’d love your feedback as this is a learning project and so sharing our thoughts on what works and what doesn’t can only help in designing better experiences for all going forward.