Muzeiko Children's Museum Exhibition

Muzeiko Museum: Bulgaria’s First Children's Museum in Sofia

Muzeiko is the first Children’s Museum in Bulgaria. Located in Sofia, the country’s capital, the amazing building and exhibitions were designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP) and was named ‘Educational Building of the Year’ in Bulgaria.

Paul Orselli was pleased to work with the LHSA+DP Exhibition Design Team serving as the primary exhibition consultant for the Muzeiko Project from start to finish, responsible for helping to form emerging content into completed exhibition areas.

The first Children's Museum in Bulgaria opened officially on October 1st, 2015. "Having been involved in the entire development process of Muzeiko for the past few years (and even before the official Muzeiko project started!) has certainly been one of the highlights of my museum career so far" writes Paul Orselli Chief Instigator of POW!

View The Muzeiko Children's Museum Grand Opening Below:

 

 

Click image below to view an amazing interactive walk through of the Muzeiko Children's Museum, another successful collaborative project that POW! The Paul Orselli Workshop was delighted to be a part of.

 

Link to The Muzeiko Museum Google Interactive Tour
 

  • Design Inspiration -- Life Stats



    Time is a topic that many types of museums touch on.

    The Web-based app called Life Stats was developed by creative coder Neal Agarwal to graphically show things that have happened since the day you were born.

    Life Stats ranges from very personal things (How many breaths have you taken?  What's the total amount of time you have been asleep?) to very universal and global things (How many times have you orbited the Sun? How much has the world literacy rate increased?)



    This approach could be a fun addition to exhibitions or programming centered around the human body or topics related to space and time.

    Click over to Life Stats and other interesting projects from Neal Agarwal to find out more!






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    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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  • Cool Design Tool: WhatTheFont




    Have you ever seen an interesting font on a product package or in an advertisement and wondered, "What is that font?"

    If so, the free Web-based app called WhatTheFont is for you!

    WhatTheFont searches a collection of over 133,000 font styles and finds the best match for the fonts in your photo. The company behind WhatTheFont will also sell you fonts from your searches if you want to use them for your current graphics projects.

    WhatTheFont even works when there’s more than one font in an image because the app lets you draw a crop box around specific areas of type. (Like the turtle food container shown below ... )






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    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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  • Get Museum Book Classics AND Help Ukraine!




    I recently received information from extraordinary exhibit designer and developer Kathy McLean that details how museum folks can get copies of her classic museum reference books at a deep discount while also helping support the people of Ukraine.

    I've provided details from Kathy below, but I'll just add that all three of these excellent books hold a proud place on my reference shelves. 

    These books continue to influence my thinking, teaching, and professional practice, so DON'T MISS OUT on this opportunity!  


    Here's the information from Kathy:

    I hope you are all weathering these stormy times and still finding moments of joy and beauty. We all knew change was inevitable, and at times, even welcome. But whoa!! What a ride!!

    In the spirit of change, I am now selling directly several of my books that were carried by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).  ASTC published and distributed the books until they closed their Publications Department and sent all the remaining copies to me. 

    I have decided to sell them for $25.00 each, which is less than the original cost, and that price includes shipping within the U.S.  Wendy Pollock, my wonderful partner in these publishing projects -- my editor, co-author, and co-editor, supports this new direction as well.

    All of the proceeds from the sale of these books will go to the Museum Crisis Center in Ukraine or World Central Kitchen in Ukraine.

    You can get more information about ordering the books from me by emailing: kmclean@ind-x.org


    The three available books are:
     
    Planning for People in Museum Exhibitions
    A best-seller for ASTC’s Publications Department, and still relevant for all types of museums today. This book has been the core textbook for many Museum Studies programs over the years.



     

    The Convivial Museum
    Co-authored with Wendy Pollock, this book is even more important in today’s fractured and mixed-up world.




     
    Visitor Voices in Museum Exhibitions
    Co-edited with Wendy Pollock, this book is one of the first to provide a broad set of examples of participatory and co-created elements in museum exhibitions.




    Contact Kathy NOW at kmclean@ind-x.org to get the remaining copies while they last!




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    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • Museum/Exhibit/Design Inspiration: Water + Video?



    I'm working on some water exhibits now and I'm pondering ways to let visitors play with water and video systems to create and capture images like the one at the top of this post.  (Check out this short YouTube video for more cool images ... )  

    Of course, the pioneering strobe photography work of "Doc" Edgerton at MIT created iconic images like the milk drop corona below, but these images were often the result of painstaking laboratory set-ups and equipment, not something for visitors to play with and manipulate.




    Aside from the classic "Stop the Drop" or "Double Piddler" exhibits where visitors can control a strobe system pointed at streams of water, what other open-ended exhibit opportunities have you seen or experienced combining video (or other imaging techniques) and water (or other fluids)?  

    Share your ideas in the Comments section below!




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    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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  • Drawing the Curtain: Making a Child-Friendly Exhibit in an Art Museum




    Margaret Middleton was kind enough to share some thoughts with ExhibiTricks readers about their latest project in this Guest Post below.

    I just finished working on a new temporary exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Drawing the Curtain: Maurice Sendak’s Designs for Ballet & Opera. The exhibition team wanted to make sure the exhibit was welcoming for families with children since most visitors would know Sendak as the author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are. As the exhibit designer on the project, I brought my experience in children’s museums, and together we created something new for the Museum. Here’s a little summary of what we did to make this exhibit work for visitors of all ages.

    In order to appreciate the departure that Drawing the Curtain represents for the Museum, you may need some context: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, founded in Boston in 1903, is set in a Venetian-style palazzo with grand rooms packed with art and a wondrous garden in the center courtyard and in 1990 it was the site of the biggest art heist in modern history. In addition to being known for beauty and scandal, the Gardner is also known for being traditional. I remember visiting as a child and finding it magical -- if a little forbidding. Galleries silent, no photos allowed. I remember being afraid of the guards after one scolded me. That cold climate began changing when they built a new wing with a performance space and a temporary exhibit gallery. It’s a much friendlier visit than the one I remember as a child. Having seen this transformation firsthand, I am particularly excited to have helped create the Museum’s first exhibit that explicitly welcomes families with children.




    Here are three qualities that make this exhibit unique:

    1. Lower hang-height 



    The exhibition is hung at 48” on center instead of the typical 60”, providing better visual access for older children and other people under 5’ tall. This also is a more comfortable viewing height for wheelchair users. We also included a few step stools in the gallery in case anyone needed an extra boost.


    2.  Family labels and large type 



    Family labels offer prompts with questions to help adults and children engage with the artwork together. I used larger type for exhibit labels to make them easier to read. Large type also means that most visitors don’t have to be very close to the label to read it so they can glance at the artwork while they read, or they can read together with another visitor. Most label copy in the exhibit is 48 or 30 point and the smallest type is 16 point. To get a feel for the sizes and heights, I like to print labels out on my printer and tape them up on a wall at home.






    3. Things to do 



    Along the back wall of the exhibit is a dedicated area especially for children. There is a stage where children can dance next to a real costume from the Nutcracker and a reading area with cozy seating where families can curl up with a favorite Sendak title. These are themed environments but they are not superficial: these spaces have real exhibition artwork in them like the rest of the gallery and engage with the exhibit content in relevant, age-appropriate ways. By integrating this space in the gallery instead of as a separate room, the exhibit communicates a sense of welcome for both children and adults.



    The exhibition is currently on view at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and runs until September 11, 2022. Please go and check it out and let me know what you think. 

    Special thanks to 42 Design/Fab Studio for their excellent fabrication work on this project.



    For more reading on creating inclusive museum environments for children, check out Margaret’s chapter in Welcoming Young Children Into the Museum






    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

    If you enjoy the blog, you can help keep it free to read and free from ads by supporting ExhibiTricks through our PayPal "Tip Jar"

Muzeiko Childrens Museum Gallery