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.