July 2012

Fun with scale (part 3) – the city as a canvas

So over the past few weeks there has been another set of playing with scale that caught our eye and perhaps some of this blog’s readers since they may have seen them in person. The examples continue the theme:

The unexpected and almost whimsical use of scale attracts attention, inspires levity and whimsy, and can often bring a point home.

A future blog post will cover the subject of levity but we here at ALCHEMY studio feel that this often an underused tool in our collective experience tool box. The first scale example some readers may have seen in Chicago is by the artist or artists named Bored.  Here are some examples cited by Nate Berg of the Atlantic, several people on Reddit. Check out the messages on the cards!



We would love to see more so please send us links to pics if you have some.

A second is the “lego” work don by Megx. Here using a little paint and imagination a bridge in Wuppertal, Germany is transformed.








Both of these examples suggest also that museums and cultural institutions could possibly extend both brand, experience and a small bit of perhaps a lighthearted aspect of their mission (play, science is cool, arts all around us, etc.) by engaging in imaginative ways with the city canvas.

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Inspiration – Vacationing in a design office

Weekend inspiration for the summer. Let’s go camping in a creative/design office! What might that be like? Here you go:


Film  directed by Jerónimo Rocha, shot at Behance.

OK so perhaps our holidays really do mean we need to let work go. Or perhaps our work spaces offer places to get away at the alchemy that occurs at the very edges of our desks. Happy weekend!


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UNESTs – UNexpected Encounters with Science and Technology

Recently a couple of things we have run across have energized us about cataloguing, designing, and thinking about a concept we are calling UNEST experiences. UNEST stands for UNexpected Encounters with Science and Technology.

Often some of the most powerful and engaging encounters with science and technology occur through experiences where you weren’t expecting to wrap you head around that.

In exhibition design, presenting the weird, the surprising, the unexpected creates an emotional as well as cognitive disconnect that can spark a memorable/learning/aha! moment.

Encountering such an experience in the regular everyday existence (outside of the “artificial” learning environment of a museum), for example in city or urban life, might in fact heighten the memorable/learning/aha! moment. These are what we are calling UNESTs. One wonders if encountering these might “raise the tide” of public engagement with science and technology. One reason, you don’t choose to go to these – rather they find you!  Because of this, UNESTs possibly reach members of the public who might never choose to visit a museum/science center about sci/tech subjects.

Here are some examples of UNESTs

The first is a project by Maskull Lasserre called Outliers. Imagine finding animal footprints in places you least expected.
















What might you think? Where might your inquiry take you? Twilight references? Loose zoo animals? By the way WOW! someone should adapt this for all year round fun at nature centers, zoos etc.



Another is the amazing Kinetic Rain sculpture by ART+COM at Terminal 1 of Changi Airport in Singapore.  Equations, models, nature, beauty all wrapped into one.





Once again, one can imagine conversations discussing how is this done to what it represents, to the beauty of it all. Something we don’t expect to have on a busy travel day going home or heading to a meeting.

Let’s all do our own UNESTs!

One wonders if our work in museum/science centers should  be taken as much as possible “out of the box” of the museum building.  It would be fun to do. Only question is finding the support to do so.


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