of an Exhibition

by Nina Simon

Published on August 19, 2010, Modified on August 20, 2010

  • Description:

    This is a review of the Digiark gallery, not the specific exhibition currently on display. I first posted a version of this on the Museum 2.0 blog here: http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2010/08/take-seat-beautiful-casual-areas-at.html

    The Digiark gallery is one of the best examples I’ve seen of a space made for leisurely exploration of content. They succeeded at designing a space that integrates lots of computers and projection-based work with natural light and recycled materials. The overall feel is of a hybrid industrial lab / comfortable home.

    Most of the story is in the photos and captions, but here are a few notable highlights:
    -flexible wall structure that both allows them to resegment the space in five minutes and to create a “floating” feel
    -slatted 2×4s everywhere create a sense of permeability that encourages social use and helps parents keep track of their kids
    -lots of comfortable seating, both facing art and facing the outdoors
    -assortment of stand-up and sit-down places to explore art
    -recycled materials with a delightful aesthetic touch: plastic water jugs serve as light fixtures and the bases of picnic tables, whimsical lamps made from recycled plastic, light wood everywhere
    -artists working live in the space. The flexible walls allow them to cordon off areas and I saw people fiddling with their installations while the whole venue was open

    There were a couple of negatives to the Digiark. Most significantly, the building itself was separated from the main museum and it was quite hard for people to naturally flow into the space—so few did. Also, there was not a lot of art per square foot – about 4000 square feet of space with five pieces featured, three of which were shown on standard size flatscreen TVs. There were other computers and books to check out, but I could see many institutions thinking it impractical to devote so much space to so few artworks/exhibits/artifacts. Visitors didn’t seem to mind, though. They were happy to sit on the couches with an art book or space out.

Latest Comments (3)

Odd signage

by Ji hui Lim - August 20, 2010

Pic 5 of 9’s left sign literally translates to “No (day) dreaming”, which is kind of ironic (maybe?).

The sound tubes idea could be adapted for a science exhibit, maybe one themed around ships, or even music. Very interesting.

From the pictures, the place looks like a very cozy place to hang out. With enough ambient lighting, I’d wager it’d make a good library and study space.

Thanks for sharing.

No day dreaming?

by Nina Simon - August 20, 2010

Thanks, Ji Hui, for the translation. I’d like to hope that was written in jest, but I doubt it – there wasn’t really humor in the Digiark. How strange.

I agree about the tubes – while they were a commissioned piece by an artist, the same idea could be adapted very fruitfully to a science center. They did generate a lot of white noise even in a quiet gallery, so I wonder if voices would be intelligible in a louder space… I suspect not.

Very interesting but a little too stark and hardened for me

by Jane Rohling - September 08, 2010

I think your note about the amount of art per square foot is interesting—I tend to have too much clutter in my work/home/life, but still, it seems like more art would be nice. Maybe more recycled art—following through with that theme—would be good. I really like the idea of the movable exhibit walls, though—I’ll remember that for sure! I’m not sure about the ambient sound tubes—would have to hear them to decide but I agree there might be other applications of them that could be fun. It seems like all the hard surfaces could make this a really noisy place if there were very many visitors at one time.

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