Friday, November 30, 2012

How Many? How Much?

We’re happy to welcome a clever new display created by Museum Exhibits Intern and Play Guide Sarah Oh, a junior in Industrial Design at RISD.  How Many? How Much? challenges visitors’ eyes and teases their brains as they count and estimate the quantities of intriguing objects stacked and packed in the Museum’s atrium walkway window boxes. Sarah reflected on her creative process and her work with Exhibits Director Robin Meisner.

How did you choose your materials and how to display them?
Robin and I wanted a combination of unusually shaped things and more commonplace objects that kids see at home or at school. We also wanted to combine manmade objects and natural objects. Then I thought of how to display them that would transform them from ordinary to something special.

What was your concept for the vibrant graphic panels you created to line the boxes?
I took inspiration from the colors I’ve seen around the Museum. I wanted a lot of variety, a lot of diversity in the shapes – some are radial, some are more linear and geometric, others are more curvy. I made all of the designs I could think of and matched them to displays. For objects I planned to display more radially, I matched them with tessellations.
I put mirrors on the sides of each box so the idea of spatial thinking and repetition of objects wasn’t confined to a box but could be extended into infinity, where the mirrors reflect one another.

What was the most challenging box? Your favorite box?
I think I spent more time on the boxes like the nuts and bolts and the clothespins and binder clips because those are very ordinary things. They were more fun, too – trying to display objects in a way that from far away they’re transformed into something else and then close up you get that “aha!” moment of recognizing what it is. My favorite was the animals – it was a lot of connecting to my inner child!

Visitors have been quite engaged since the display debuted, eagerly peering into boxes to figure out what the objects are and guess their quantities. A grandfather with his grandson  commented, “You can see them on both sides – they really use the space beautifully!”

The boxes are paired with a hunt that challenges visitors to identify whole boxes based on a picture of part of their objects and a talk-back board that asks, “Do you wonder how many there are of something? What?”

Check back to see some of their wonderful responses, and thanks to Sarah for her beautiful work!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Great pictures!