Hugemongous mind map, day 3

February 23rd, 2011

Here we have the hugemongous mind map at the end of Wednesday:

Getting bigger!

Two girls came in from the rain and spent a long time adding ideas to the hugemongous mind map. I challenged them to build as long a chain as possible, taking it in turns to bat responses to eachother’s ideas. I didn’t get to look at it until after they had gone, but nice work ladies! We’ll be taking some of your ideas as the starting point for tomorrow’s investigations.

Signposts, and the knowledge passed on between kids.

Starting from a concern that if the museum assistants went on strike there would be no guided tours, they got on to thinking about signposting and knowledge being passed between the kids who could direct their own learning independently. Ace!

Tomorrow we will be investigating alternative tours around the museum, designed by little people for little people. Inspectors will be deciding on their own trails through the building, with maps and clues for those in the know.

This is going to be an interesting test to find out how much attention the big people pay to the things happening closer to the ground. Come and join us for The Lowdown!

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Hugemongous mind map, day 2

February 22nd, 2011

So, here’s the hugemongous mind map at the end of day two. We mostly spent the day making nose trumpets, but our mind map also grew a little bit.

Hugemongous mind map at the end of Tuesday

Here are the two cards that we’ll be taking as our cue for Wednesday’s investigations:

If there were no museum assistants, how would people teach us?

If there wasn't anyone to teach us would we forget about the past?

We think it’s important that the MoR takes steps to protect us from forgetting about the past, so for Wednesday’s investigations we’re going to be making memory machines and seeing if we can find a way of preserving what we know.

We’ll be running drop-in sessions for you to come and help us figure out how we’re going to do this – 11am to 1pm and again 2pm to 4pm. See you tomorrow!

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Hugemongous mind map, day 1

February 21st, 2011

It took us a while before we got to start work on the hugemongous mind map, what with all the HQ decorations and that, but it’s starting to take shape…

The hugemongous mind map. (Before it started getting hugemongous.)

Here’s the scenario we’re using as our starting point:

It is the year 2019.

Museums and art galleries have mostly survived the funding cuts of the early part of the decade, yet things are still turbulent. The buildings are as they were, but the staff are restless.

Ongoing industrial disputes have resulted in museum and gallery assistants throughout the country refusing to go to work. Whilst the places they used to work in remain open, there are no longer members of staff in each room to enforce rules such as “do not touch”.

What might happen as a result?

Our first wave of responses all felt that this would be not-so-good, with people worried that all the museum artefacts might get broken.

Mind map and ideas getting bigger

After a later wave of activity, not only had we broadened our range of first responses to include some more positive reactions, but we’d also started building some interesting chains of ideas.

I made a note of some of them before leaving for the day:

  • All the lights might get switched off.
    • You could get up closer to the pictures and smell them as well.
    • You could feel the paintings.
    • Children could play in the dark (but they might bump heads).
  • If things got broken
    • Museums might switch to being places where you looked at things from the inside, rather than the outside.
    • Who would fix the exhibits?
    • How would engineers know how to fix ancient things – especially if the instruction manuals were written in hieroglyphics!
  • You could have lots of children on the bouncy castle (Mungo Thomson’s Skyspace Bouncehouse).
  • You could look at the art whilst talking to your friends.

I think we’re going to take our cue for tomorrow’s activities from that cluster of thoughts about experiencing museums and galleries through different senses…

I’m not yet 100% sure of how we’ll structure the day, but we might switch from a drop-in format to some hour-long sessions with a fixed group of Inspectors. Something will be happening between 11am and 4pm (with a lunchbreak somewhere near the middle) – come to the MoR headquarters at the back of the Play Ground gallery to find out what the situation is.

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The investigation wall

February 6th, 2011

All good investigations need an investigation board: lots of bits of paper with ideas on pinned up with the connections shown, you know the sort of thing.

Investigation wall from 'Flash Forward'

So, to start off our investigation we’re going to bend the art gallery rule about not putting your own stuff up on the walls and we’re going to create a hugemongous mind map to help us think about what we’re going to investigate.

The purpose of our hugemongous mind map is to get us away from the obvious ideas and dealing with some really meaty interesting ones instead. Absolutely the best way I’ve come across of doing this is the signtific lab method, so that’s what we’re going to use. Only with many more bits of paper and sticky tape!

We’ll start off with a hypothetical scenario and then build chains of : “No way!”, “Yes! And…”, “Yes! But…” and “Hmmm…” across the walls of the gallery. Somewhere along the way we’ll come across ideas that we’ll want to turn into makings and doings within the gallery – these are what we’ll be working on for the rest of the week.

The MoR will be visiting New Walk Museum & Art Gallery later this week to check out exactly how big the walls are…

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