CRTL in collaboration with other esteemed organisation always try to nurture the NCSM’s officials or museums’ professional with best practices that make a museum a knowledge temple and also a hands-on science library. Workshops are conducted on various topics that give an opportunity to collaborate with new people, learn new things and in-depth study. The essence of the workshop is to push the participant to step outside the comfort zone and tap their own hidden superpower. Some glimpses of the recent workshops are provided below:
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is a premier scientific society under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT), Government of India for carrying out Research and Development activities in IT, Electronics and associated areas.
Accordingly, CRTL organised one 5-days Workshop for NCSM personnel from 12th December 2017 through 16th December 2017. A report on the outcome of the Workshop is here.
The module of ISEA Workshop for the Government Officials contains Internet Ethics, Password Management, Computer Virus, Types of Cybercrime including Identity Theft, e-Mail Threats and Tips, Secure Web Browsing, Data Security, Verification of e-Mail sender, Importance of Copyrights, Overview of Cyber Law, etc.
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, CRTL has undertaken the responsibility of developing a model city heritage learning centre in the form of a virtual Experiential Museum (VEM). This model can well be the museological template that may be followed by many more city heritage learning centres to come up in near future under the patronage of the MoC, Government of India. The first such VEM is to be created in the Man-Mahal of Varanasi. To develop the content for this museum CRTL is collaborating with the Delhi-based Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). While for another VEM on Ajanta, CRTL has created a proposal collaborating with IIT, Mumbai.
Experiential museums are spaces for diverse audiences to engage with audiovisual resources often involving the Immersive Media presentation, Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) Techniques. Since experience is very personal, media and data access in such museums are also customized by personal choices. The VEM intends to implement symbiotic relationship between audio-visual resources and experiential presentations, in pursuit of a common goal of providing diverse audiences a means to engage with information. While traditional museums have viewed their collections as central, museums across the world are increasingly making use of image, audio and film/ video resources, in addition to interactive technology, to achieve defined learning objectives for target groups. Hence, this museum is not only a storehouse of information, but rather a catalyst in the visitor’s learning experience.
This experiential museum may form an important bridge between audio-visual collections and varied audiences. By passing audio-visual resources through a filter of interpretative design, and using audio-visual material as an integral part of the narrative, provides a diverse group of people the environment to interact with, and benefit from access to content. While such museums need audio-visual content to absorb the visitor in the narrative, they also provide audio-visual collections an opportunity to reach out to audiences beyond scholars and researchers.
To sum up, the digital space, Virtual Experiential Museum (VEM), will contain attractive and inclusive presentations involving large multi-projector curve projection, stylized video walls, visual walk-through simulation, projection mapping on contoured surfaces, projection mapped cuisine tables, google map connectivity, multi-window synchronous display and would also provide Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality experiences. Artefact displays, 3D printing, 3D stereoscopic videos, digital music stations, walkthrough presentations of various pilgrimage/tourist circuit routes, virtual flip-through books, transparent display timelines etc. would also be provided for the visitors to enrich their experience.
Exhibits make our “museums”. Each exhibit is actually an idea whose inspiration may come from manifold sources. Sometimes artists and scientists think and propose them. Sometimes research articles, news stories, and even YouTube videos spark a new idea for an exhibit. Often, an exhibit emerges spontaneously when someone is just playing with stuff and seeing what happens. But after the basic spark, the exhibit needs to be nurtured to make it museum-quality. It may be modified for design requirement, aesthetic necessity, meaning-making or even for availability of devices and instruments. Curators, particularly the new entrants need to learn this process continually. Considering this need, CRTL regularly organizes workshops and training programmes on exhibit ideas and designing. The latest one in the series happened in Kolkata during October 23 – 25, 2017 (Monday – Wednesday). A report is attached here.
This workshop permitted to express what is their idea of good exhibits and how do they propose to make one from their ideas. In CRTL almost all exhibits are made by our own staff and we like exhibits that either let one interact directly with real phenomena or subjects one to an experience unusual. This workshop produced many such ideas that will soon be visible on the museum space.
Once we find a promising idea, we build a rough prototype and get feedback from users and experts. Ideas may get dropped at this stage, or evolve into something new. If an exhibit seems to be working well, we‘ll build a more-or-less permanent version, with increased attention to aesthetics and durability. However, this workshop also intends to show that an exhibit is almost never done. Any exhibit can be improved upon.