Museum Exhibit Will Raise Public Awareness of 3D Printing

MOSI_3D-print-vert-rgbAn upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida looks like a terrific opportunity to get a better understanding of everything that is happening in the fast-developing field of 3D printing.

MOSI is a not-for-profit institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).  Starting June 14, they will host an exhibition entitled “3D Printing the Futurel” The exhibition will illustrate how 3D printing has the potential to reshape how we live, work, and play.

3D Printing the Future will include 3D-printed objects, live demonstrations, plus an in-depth look at how 3D printing technology works and how it can be used. At the exhibition, you will see 3D printers in action as you walk through immersive exhibits focusing on various applications of 3D printing.

3D Medicine: See 3D-printed medical objects, including 3D-printed body parts and prosthetics, and learn how 3D printing is revolutionizing the world of modern medicine.

3D Science & Technology: See how 3D printing is helping scientists and researchers working in some of the most remote places on Earth. Learn how 3D printing is being used to help solve crimes, build cars and houses, and send replacement tools to astronauts in space.

3D Archaeology See how archaeologists are using 3D scanning and printing to bring ancient artifacts to life in surprising detail and advance our understanding of ancient people, places and animals.

3D Everyday: Discover everything from 3D-printed furniture and toys to 3D-printed fashion and jewelry. This section will illustrate modern conveniences that 3D printing can provide in the future, such as being able to print a replacement part for a dishwasher or an extra place setting for unexpected dinner guests. See how the fashion industry is embracing 3D printing to create clothing, jewelry and accessories that are tailored just for you.

Hands-On 3D Workshop: In this area, you can draw with the world’s first 3D printing pen, and bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds by building with 3D-printed Minecraft blocks. Families can even take part in an interactive story featuring 3D-printed models. This fun, imaginative story time will offer a glimpse of new ways to tap into the imagination of children through tangible story-themed play that they can design and print out.

3D Live Showcase This live stage show will feature a variety of fun and fascinating demonstrations, including interactive scanning, a 3D Music Jam Show with actual 3D-printed instruments, and step-by-step walk-throughs of the 3D printing process. This show celebrates the fruits of creativity and the “maker movement” using 3D printing.


Report Examines Future of Museums in Digital Age

MuseumsInDigitalAge-CoverA new report “Museums in the Digital Age” envisions a dynamic future for museums. Published by Arup’s Foresight + Research + Innovation group, the report contends that museums must move far beyond static objects in glass cases and offer more personalized content, new levels of sustainability, and visitor experiences that extend beyond present expectations of time and space.

“It is a common misconception that museums are designed to house objects,” notes Senior Analyst Josef Hargrave. “In fact they are designed to give visitors an experience.”

The report calls attention to cultural changes that may affect what visitors expect to experience, and suggests changes in museum design and technology investments that can help museums meet those expectations.

For example, the report recognizes that museums must cater to increasingly disparate visitor groups–from Facebook-using digital natives to aging Baby Boomers. Funding restrictions will put pressure on some museums to be both more profitable and more inclusive.

The report makes several recommendations:

  • Create more immersive experiences. As people become accustomed to having unlimited access to information, museums must figure out how to present their content in a manner that is appealing to all groups within society. Use innovations such as contact-less technology, augmented reality and face-recognition software to capture the imaginations of all visitor groups and enhance the physical experience.
  • Find innovative ways to use advancements in 3D printing. For example, 3D printing can enable the accurate reproduction of rare, damaged or previously unavailable objects. Accurately reproduced objects could be exhibited in multiple locations. Museums could also give visitors the option of creating a copy of the artifact to take home.
  • Consider creating nomad museums. Museums and the content they exhibit no longer need to be fixed to a certain point in space and time. Mobile museums, combined with digital access to collections can reach a wider demographic, shifting the notion of where and how museums can exist in the future.
  • Integrate sustainable and open spaces. In addition to managing water, heating and cooling systems more effectively, the museums of the future might shift towards the preservation and archiving of threatened living elements or the promotion of alternative food cultivation systems such as hydroponic farms.

Future Scenarios 

The report concludes with a number of future scenarios in the year 2040, envisioned by students in the Narrative Environments course at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London. The students were mentored by the Arup Foresight + Research + Innovation team. Built on existing social and environmental trends, the scenarios provide drastic visions of the museum’s role in the future.

One such scenario includes museums functioning as a temporary retreat from future ‘mega-cities’, with vegetation helping to regulate environmental toxins. In this future, Kew Gardens will have a dual role as a research center and visitor attraction, becoming a driving force in the development of functional plants.

Another scenario envisions transient museum experiences, where objects are showcased on trains as they are returned back to their country of origin. Plugging into mass transit systems, the scheme presents the museum with an alternate business model, as a travel and tourism guide and international affairs ambassador.

In an increasingly globalized community, a move to deliver artifacts back to their country of origin would exemplify cultural awareness and might ease political tensions.

The 40-page report can be downloaded as a PDF from the Arup website.

About Arup

Headquartered in London, Arup is an independent consultancy that provides professional services in management, planning, design, and engineering. The Arup F+R+I Team identifies and monitors trends and issues that are likely to have a significant impact upon the built environment and society at large. Other reports available through the company’s website cover The Future of Retail, The Campus of the Future, and the Living Workplace.


Report: Museums in The Digital Age

About Arup


Be Prepared to Record Oral Statements about Your Art

ARTISTS. The next time you write a statement about your art, read it aloud to see how it sounds. If more exhibition organizers start making tour information available on mobile phones, you may be asked to submit oral commentary about your work along with your written statement.

Logo for OnCell SystemsFor example, visitors to the “30 Americans” exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. can dial a provided number to take a self-guided audio tour of the Gallery on their cellphones.

The “30 Americans” exhibition is a wide-ranging survey of works by many of the most important African-American contemporary artists of the last three decades. The Corcoran Gallery of Art staff used technology supplied by OnCell to record audio clips of the artists’ personal commentaries on their paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and videos. Museum visitors follow prompts to hear the artists describe their work.

OnCell is a company of mobile-imaging experts who are passionate about the arts and education.  Since the firm was founded in 2006, they have worked on more than 1,000 projects in the U.S. and internationally. OnCell’s mobile tour technology allows museums and historic sites to create powerful learning experiences using audio, images and video for visitors along with additional “edutainment” features such as quizzes and text messaging.


The Corcoran Gallery of Art

About OnCell Systems


Streaming Museum Gives Artists Worldwide Exposure

ARTISTS. DESIGNERS. Have you heard about the Streaming Museum? I hadn’t, until I received a news release from Brazilian architect and urban planner Emanuel Dimas de Melo Pimenta. The news release describes his vision of a new approach to designing Earth-orbiting structures, such as hotels and observatories that would accommodate larger numbers of space tourists. His ideas are depicted in the “Kairos” exhibition which opened at the Streaming Museum earlier this month.

About the Streaming Museum

Launched January 29, 2008, Streaming Museum is a hybrid museum that presents multimedia exhibitions in cyberspace and public space on seven continents and live programming at partnering cultural centers. The exhibitions are generated in collaboration with international cultural, educational, and public centers and artists, curators and visionary creators.

Streaming Museum is produced in New York, and broadcast to sites such as the city’s Big Screen Plaza. The museum’s exhibitions have been seen on big, outdoor screens in cities such as Milan, Italy; Seoul, South Korea; Melbourne, Australia; Bucharest, Romania; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and in multiple cities in England. Exhibitions have also been streamed to South Korea, Norway, Greece, and Argentina’s Jubany Scientific Base in Antarctica.

Screen in the Piazza Duomo, Milan, Italy

One goal of the museum is to emphasize the role of the arts and technology in global society. Art of all cultures is presented side-by-side symbolizing society’s global interconnectedness and the valuable contributions that all cultures provide.

The inaugural exhibition of the Streaming Museum honored pioneering video artist Nam June Paik and his 1970s-era prediction of an electronic superhighway as a free medium for imagination and the exchange of cultures. This first exhibition was viewed at one public-screen location on each of the seven continents at precisely the same time. Since then, Streaming Museum exhibitions have been viewed at over 45 locations worldwide.

According to Streaming Museum’s founder and creative director Nina Colosi, the idea for creating an ongoing international distribution network for art and culture originated in 2004 when she was working with media artist, curator, and professor Zhang Ga on his global public artwork: “People’s Portrait.” Zhang Ga installed picture-taking kiosks next to large screens in major international cities and connected them to a central server via the Internet. People could snap their pictures and view them on the adjacent screen, along with portraits of people from the other cities.

Colosi describes the Streaming Museum’s exhibitions as “a mash-up/sampling/remix of fine art and pop culture that make up a portrait of the contemporary world.”

She said the museum curates exhibitions of emerging and established artists. In addition to exhibitions similar to those you can see in the museum’s archives, the museum is planning new exhibitions of interactive work, augmented reality, gaming, and performing arts.

“We keep a file of work by artists who submit to us, with special consideration given to artists recommended by colleagues.” said Colosi.

Exhibitions can circulate for an indefinite period, and artworks can be exhibited across multiple platforms—online, in public spaces, and at partnering cultural and commercial centers.

“For example,” says Colosi. “Over the course of three years, Mark Amerika’s ‘Immobilite’ remixes and John Simon’s ‘HD Traffic’ and other artworks have been viewed throughout the global network and also presented in a live performance at Juilliard at Lincoln Center and exhibited at The Project Room for New Media at Chelsea Art Museum.

Colosi reports that artists whose work has been featured in the Streaming Museum have gained the attention of other curators and have been invited to participate in other projects. She considers one of the best benefits of exhibiting art through the Streaming Museum is “enriching a global demographic that may not have the opportunity to see art.”


Streaming Museum

The Project Room for New Media and Performing Arts

About the Kairos Project

Kairos represents a new approach to architecture that imagines a time when architects are asked to design buildings that don’t have to consider Earth’s gravity. As architect Emanuel Pimenta points out, “Until now, the entire history of architecture is based on the force of gravity.” But there may come a time when human expansion on Earth will no longer be possible. Thus, Pimenta says Kairos is “also a questioning about a new civilizational leap.”

“Until now, we have had no example of true architecture in space,” he explains. “Buildings related to satellites or space stations have been focused on tubular systems—a heritage from missile design.” The type or orbiting structure that Pimenta has envisioned is totally tensioned, with flexible, antiballistic fabrics and internal movable walls.

"Kairos" by Emanuel Pimenta

“We could call it a water building, because all walls are filled with water,” he points out. “It is completely deprogrammable, which means the original program, the functions of each internal space, can be easily and quickly changed at low cost.”

Pimenta views his architectural design as conceptual artwork. But the building design also takes into account technological challenges such as energy, water, exposure to space junk, and how the absence of Earth’s gravity will affect the spatial orientation of building occupants. To help others understand his vision, Pimenta has produced a series of drawings, digital images, a movie, and book.

After being launched at New York’s Streaming Museum, Kairos will continue on a year-long tour through the Streaming Museum’s global network of screens in public spaces. In October, the exhibition will also be shown at the Robotarium contemporary art and technology center in Lisbon, Portugal. The book, “Kairos: A Bird Orbiting Planet Earth” will debut on in November.


“Kairos” by Emanuel Pimenta

About Emanuel Pimenta


Three Examples of How Museums Are Adapting to Change

Any creative professional who wants to design or produce museum exhibits should pay attention to how museums are adapting to today’s socially networked, multimedia culture. For example, here are three news items that caught my eye.

Reinventing the Museum Experience in the Digital Age

Maggie Burnette Stogner, a professor in the film and media arts department at American University, is helping exhibit producers use new media technologies to create immersive storytelling experiences at cultural museums.

While many museums continue to display artifacts in cases with small text labels, others have started using high-definition videos, photomurals, 3D computer animations, and digital audio for voice, music, and soundscapes.

Immersive exhibits have enabled museum visitors to explore the pirate ship Whydah with its captain Sam Bellamy, view 3D CT scans of King Tut, and take an intimate tour of Egyptian artifacts guided by Cleopatra.

Image of Maggie Stogner filming expert for museum exhibit
American University’s Maggie Stogner films Mayan hieroglyph expert Simon Marting. Photo: Helena Swedberg

“This engagement is critical at a time when cultural museum attendance is seriously declining,” said Stogner. “Younger generations learn in very different styles than the traditional approach offered by many cultural museums. They are growing up in a media-rich, networked society, and have different expectations.”

She points out the immersive exhibits also appeal to ethnically diverse crowds
and older visitors. Compared to text labels and tour guides, integrated multimedia exhibits can provide a more effective educational experience to persons with visual or hearing impairments.

“Culture is all about our human stories,” says Stogner. “It is how we, as humans, share who we are, what we believe in, what we fear or love, what we hope for, and how we live. We have communicated our culture through multimedia storytelling from the earliest cave drawings and stories around the fire pit. Immersive media technologies are an evolving means to tell and share those stories.”

“Today’s new media technologies have tremendous potential to enliven and give meaning to ancient cultures and historical events of the past,” said Stogner. “But they must be used with a strong commitment to content research and quality.”

Press Release: Reinventing the Museum Experience in the Digital Age

Digital Images of Yale’s Cultural Collections Now Available for Free

Yale University’s new open access policy will give scholars, artists, and other individuals around the world free access to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries.

So far, more than 250,000 images that in the public domain have been made available. No license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use. As a result, scholars, artists, students, and citizens around the world will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching, and inspiration.

George Stubbs, “Zebra,” 1763, oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art

Increased access to high-quality content and new linked data technologies will revolutionize the way people search and relate to cultural objects, says Meg Bellinger, director of the Yale Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure.

Press Release: Digital Images of Yale’s Vast Cultural Collections Now Available for Free

Museum Asks Visitors to Comment on Rarely Shown Works

Earlier this year the Mobile Museum of Art gave visitors a chance to review, describe, and photograph artworks for possible future use in upcoming museum publications and displays.

In an exhibit entitled “Art at Random: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” the museum curatorial staff displayed some of the 9,500 pieces that museum has accumulated through gifts or purchases since 1963. A random number generator was used to determine which of the items in storage would be put on display.

Visitors were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about the displayed pieces and make suggestions about the type and amount of information contained in the text panels.

Museum visitors were also invited to write detailed descriptions of the artworks or use their camera phones or other cameras to photograph the exhibited items. Visitors could email these images and descriptions to the museum staff or upload them to the museum’s Facebook page.

The curators at the Mobile Museum of Art is using the feedback to help them understand what type of information visitors would like to see, both in gallery exhibits and in the searchable, online database they are developing for the collected works.

In a blog post on, reporter Thomas B. Harrison quoted museum director Tommy McPherson as saying, “People have a longstanding curiosity about museums and what’s in storage. Traditionally, we only pull things out when we have an academic purpose for it.”

Thus, many of the works in the “Art at Random” exhibit had seldom been exhibited. McPherson said one of the goals of the exhibit was to help people better understand what accredited museums do for their communities. Blog Post: Art Museum Allow Visitors a Peek Into the Vault

Press Release: New Exhibition Gives Visitors a Chance to Help Museum