Just One Thing about Exhibits

Just One Thing about Exhibits logo

Join Paul Orselli with "Just One Thing about Exhibits" interviews !

Paul Orselli and POW! have started a new video project called JOT@Exhibits (Just One Thing about Exhibits.)

The video series will feature exhibit designers and developers who want to share "just one thing" about exhibits in a short video.

Please check out the JOT@Exhibits videos embedded below or on the POW! YouTube Channel.

 

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ExhibiTricks blog

  • Handy Online Tool: Pirate Ship



    Inevitably during remote exhibition installations, a graphic gets left behind, or a missing exhibit piece needs to be shipped to a distant museum site.

    Unfortunately, shipping an odd-shaped and/or heavy package quickly (and cheaply!) often turns into an expensive hassle.

    Fortunately, one of my museum pals recently made me aware of the online service called Pirate Ship.

    You simply go to the Pirate Ship website, enter information about the size and weight of your package, and the website generates a set of options for shipping your package that can save you up to 80% off standard UPS or USPS shipping rates.

    You print the shipping label out yourself, and the Pirate Ship service is free and pay-as-you-go, so there are no ongoing costs or subscription charges.

    The next time you get caught in an exhibition or installation shipping jam, give Pirate Ship a try!



    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"
  • Making Things Move with 507movements.com



    In a fantastic "back to the future" moment, the fine folks at the 507movements.com website have created a wonderful resource for any maker, designer, or builder that makes things that move.

    Basically, they've created a Web version of the classic technical reference Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements by Henry T. Brown. (The original printed edition came out in 1868!)

    As the title of both the original book and the website suggests, here are five hundred and seven drawings of mechanical movements -- from two simple gears meshing to a labyrinthine collection of intricate pulley arrangements.

    The beauty of the website is that they are now animating each of the 507 drawings so you can see the mechanisms in action!

    Definitely worth a look (and worth bookmarking for future reference!) so click on over to the 507movements.com website to see the entire collection!





    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"
  • Cool Museum/Exhibit/Design Tool -- Old Maps Online



    Old maps are super handy for explaining the concepts and stories embedded in history-related exhibits.

    Unfortunately, it's often difficult to find just the right map to illustrate an idea or provide context.

    Enter the website Old Maps Online, which is effectively a search engine for historical maps.




    Just pick a location or browse the available maps on the OMO website to get started.

    Old Maps Online indexes over 400.000 maps, thanks to the archives and libraries that are willing to provide their content online.

    Go unleash your inner cartographer by clicking over to the Old Maps Online website!





    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"
  • Creative Inspiration -- MonkeyBird



    As I recently returned from a trip to Springfield, Massachusetts which has a surprisingly vibrant urban murals scene, I was prompted to share the work of MonkeyBird.

    MonkeyBird is the working name of French stencil artists, Louis Boidron and Edouard Egea.




    If you have a limited view of the artistic potential of stencil work, just take a look at the wonderful images here and more of MonkeyBird's amazing work on their Instagram page.

    After seeing some of Monkeybird's work, I'm inspired to think of ways to include stencil artists in my programs and exhibition work. How about you?





    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"
  • Newsletters as Idea Nets


    I subscribe to quite a few digital newsletters.  I find great inspiration in the ideas and resources that the authors come up with -- not to mention useful sites or tools I might have never come across myself.  So, I thought I would share four of my favorite "idea nets" below:













    Every other Tuesday author Daniel Pink shares a short (usually around two minutes) video along with a paragraph or two of ideas that recently caught his attention. Short. On-point. Highly recommended. 













    Electric Speed is writer Jane Friedman's free email newsletter with all-original content, focusing on digital tools and helpful resources for writers. It arrives every other Saturday morning.

    When you subscribe, you'll immediately receive a free download of business and writing tools that power Friedman's career. Those tools alone are worth the time it takes to sign up!

















    Every Friday morning author Austin Kleon sends out a list of 10 things worth sharing — new art, writing, and interesting links.  I love Kleon's books and his worldview which carries over to his weekly list.








    Put together by a team of three, Recommendo is a weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff.  For a limited time, all new sign-ups will receive a free digital book!



    Which newsletters or blogs are "idea nets" that you subscribe to?  Let us know in the "Comments" section below!



    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"
  • Creative Inspiration: Making Sand from Glass



    Maybe it's because I'm finishing up a project with the National Bottle Museum, but I am fascinated by the work of a Louisiana-based organization called Glass Half Full, which turns glass back into sand.

    I did not realize that there is a looming international sand shortage.  The United Nations has reported that sand is the most exploited natural resource in the world after water. Countries are consuming sand (for use in glass, concrete, and other construction materials) faster than it can be replaced by geological processes -- that takes hundreds of thousands of years!

    This is where Glass Half Full comes in. The company was started by two college friends to address the sand crisis in a creative and ecologically-minded way.  Glass Half Full recycles Louisiana glass “waste” into sand for disaster relief and prevention, coastal restoration, eco-construction, new glass products, and more.

    Check out this YouTube video to learn more about how over 16 tons of glass is recycled at the Glass Half Full facilities per week. The recycled glass pieces, called cullet, are crushed and sorted into gravel-sized chunks, a fine powdery material, and a coarse grind; this last material is shipped to wetlands for use in coastal restoration efforts. 

    I love the idea of "reversing" the process by which sand is usually changed into glass and changing our perceptions about how the glass bottles we use can be repurposed to solve a worldwide problem.

    To find out more about Glass Half Full, click on over to their website!

    Glass Half Full co-founder, Franziska Trautmann, on top of "Glass Mountain"



    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"
  • Support Striking PMA Workers



    Unionized workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) are on strike.

    These museum workers in Philadelphia are fighting on behalf of all museum workers.

    They are fighting against a Board that has paid to hire union-busting lawyers instead of negotiating in good faith.

    The museum is paying its Director upwards of $700,000 a year, while its unionized workers ask that their minimum pay is raised to $16.75 per hour.

    I ask that you please consider supporting these museum workers, either by sending emails on their behalf to the PMA Director and Board through this website or, if you are able, by contributing to the strike fund here.

    To find out more, check out the PMA Union website.



    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!


  • Thinking about Making & History




    I'm on the road in California working with the fine folks from Folsom History and thinking about Making & History.

    So what prompts me to make this trip to Folsom?  Well, Maker Stuff.  And by "Maker Stuff" I mean the eclectic group of artists, craftspeople, tinkerers, and engineers (amongst others) who get herded under the big umbrella term "Makers."

    At a recent meeting of museum folks in Atlanta, it turned out that many of the other folks in the room were History Museum people. It's not that I don't like History Museums, or admire the people who work in them, but my museum "tribes" tend more toward Science Center and Children's Museum folks (and their respective conferences.)

    Anyway (me being me) at a certain point I started to berate those nice fellow museum professionals for "completely missing the boat" on the Maker Movement.  It also immediately became clear that many of the people at that meeting had absolutely no idea of what a Maker Space or "makers" even were! YIKES!

    I mean, what genre of museums is better placed than History Museums to engage people with the stories and stuff behind inventing, designing, building, and manufacturing things?  It's in their institutional DNA!  Not to mention the enormous opportunities for History Museums to tap into new sets of audiences and communities that are deeply engaged in Maker activities that would love to connect with such awesome repositories of the stories and stuff associated with Making.

    I'm very excited to help the folks in Folsom think more about the possibilities of bringing making and history together. If you've seen or created interesting opportunities for making/history, include some info in the COMMENTS section below!


    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"
  • Light, Color, and Beauty



    Since the connected topics of light, color, and beauty seemed to come up so often during my experiences at the recent ASTC Conference in Pittsburgh, I thought I'd share some of my favorite light/beauty inspirations.

    A wonderful example is Sainte-Chapelle, the royal chapel completed in the year 1248 in Paris.

    It is amazing to step inside the chapel surrounded by multi-story stained-glass windows.  The light and color shifts and changes as you move around inside the space.  In some ways, it feels like you are actually inside a stained-glass window!



    A more modern take on employing light and color in architecture is artist Olafur Eliasson's installation called Your rainbow panorama.



    Situated on top of the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum art museum in Aarhus, Denmark, Your rainbow panorama invites you to experience the familiar (a city skyline) in unfamiliar ways. Olafur Eliasson's creation consists of a 150-meter-long and three meter-wide circular walkway in glass in all the colors of the spectrum. Your rainbow panorama is mounted on slender columns 3.5 meters above the roof of ARoS with a diameter of 52 meters.





    Here's a quote from Eliasson about this work:

    Your rainbow panorama establishes a dialogue with the existing architecture and reinforces what was already there, that is to say the view across the city. I have created a space that can almost be said to erase the boundary between inside and outside – a place where you become a little uncertain as to whether you have stepped into a work of art or into part of the museum. This uncertainty is important to me, as it encourages people to think and sense beyond the limits within which they are accustomed to function.” 



    Architect Keiichiro Sako takes the playful aspects of light and color into the design of this kindergarten building in China.





    The lucky students are completely surrounded by rainbow colors -- on the stairs, in windows, and inside their classroom spaces!




    Of course, the most fun is building and playing with beautiful light and color yourself. For that purpose, I'd suggest getting some colorful, translucent Magna-Tiles  (You can get them here at Amazon, or at other online stores.) I hope your days ahead are filled with light and color and beauty!





    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"