New Project: Community Storytelling in Arctic Norway

New Project: Community Storytelling in Arctic Norway

Sometimes you have to travel far to find the things that are most obvious and most relevant to you. This last week, I traveled to Bardufoss Norway, north of the Arctic Circle, to consult with Midt-Troms Museum, which includes a coalition of a dozen or so local history museums and a new children’s museum — the first children’s museum in Norway in fact. And in those travels, I found the Museum and its director Lisa Bostwick...

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StoryBike: Fresh Paint Mural Art Festival and Community Transformation

StoryBike: Fresh Paint Mural Art Festival and Community Transformation

There’s a lot packed into the title of this blog post, I know…Here’s the rundown: 42 Design Fab and I created a StoryBike to record stories at the Fresh Paint Springfield mural art festival celebrating the transformation of downtown Springfield MA. The day included nine murals and their artists, family paint activities, music, local craft beer, food trucks, and a ton of enthusiasm from community members. An amazing event, and...

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Designing for Empathy in Museum Exhibits: The Empathy Show at ACM Interactivity

Designing for Empathy in Museum Exhibits: The Empathy Show at ACM Interactivity

It seems empathy has been in short supply as our culture grapples with fear and anger fanned for political benefit and portable devices that divide our attention. Are there ways museums can facilitate more empathy in our daily lives? Children’s museums have been grappling with this question for years, and emerging are some exhibit techniques — as well as whole exhibits themselves — focusing on empathy. At the recent...

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Storykiosk for Special Needs Audiences

Storykiosk for Special Needs Audiences

A few years ago I was very interested to hear from staff at Louisiana Children’s Museum that they were finding that our Storykiosk installation was very popular on their sensory-friendly evenings. There was something about it — maybe talking into the computer with someone — that seemed both interesting and rewarding in a way that encouraged communication. We had spent a lot of time looking for ways of encouarging parent/child...

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Celebrating Institutional Anniversaries with Stories

Celebrating Institutional Anniversaries with Stories

Here’s something we’ve been doing a lot of lately: outfitting museums and universities with story capture systems to record memories of visitors and alumni. Institutions tend to celebrate their anniversaries at events throughout the year, providing multiple opportunities to gather stories from people who are motivated to share. Harvard Law School celebrated it’s 200th and we gathered dozens of stories at alumni events throughout the...

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Storykiosk at Boston Mini Maker Faire: Family Puppet Shows

Storykiosk at Boston Mini Maker Faire: Family Puppet Shows

What a great time this weekend setting up our Storykiosk at Boston Mini Maker Faire with 42 Design Fab. The idea: families make puppets together from wooden spoons, and then record their spontaneous puppet shows on Storykiosk, projecting their images on a story waterfall (see images below). I was blown away by the quantity and quality of stories — we ran out of spoons twice due to the popularity of the activity. The main goal throughout...

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