Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, engineering, museum

Engineering a billowing cloud

Great TED Talk from Janet Echelman about how resourcefulness and imagination has given her a career in sculpting, and is a great example of how the collaboration of art and science can create great things:

Posted in aerospace, astronomy, biology, communication and networking, education, electronic imaging and displays, museum, Optics

3D museums coming soon, says astrophysicist

Neil deGrasse Tyson siging a copy of his book ...
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson believes 3D museums aren't far off. Image via Wikipedia

Pointed out to me by friends at SPIE:

How would you like to walk among the stars without ever leaving Earth? Or cavort among the molecules, get close up to cells or rub shoulders with lions, tigers and bears?

Museumgoers of the future could do all this — possibly within five years — thanks to cutting-edge technology that offers visitors high-quality “3-D vision” without the usual cumbersome goggles.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, believes such technology, which has the potential to turn an afternoon at the museum into a multisensory, memorable educational event, may be one of the hallmarks of such institutions as they move into 21st century.

Tyson, two-time appointee to presidential space commissions, author of nine books and, per People magazine, the sexiest living astrophysicist, will be keynote speaker at Wednesday’s session of the American Association of Museums convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“They’ll be walking among the lions, and it’s not limited to lions. There will be stars and galaxies. They can walk among the stars. We can project the International Space Station on the dome … and they can go check it out, watch a 3-D space walk in progress.”

Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, engineering, museum, Solar and Alternative Energy

A Metallic Solar Powered Cloud Museum for Xiamen China | Inhabitat

China has been producing some cool architecture the last couple of years, from the Beijing stadiums to this:

“Floating” above the city of Xiamen, China like a cloud, this lofty museum takes art and culture to new heights. The brainchild of MAD Architects, the structure’s organic, molten metal shape is mirrored, reflecting the beauty of the surrounding environment right onto its walls. The museum will make good use of the city’s sunny climate by placing solar panels on its roof, and because it rests upon 5 relatively slender “legs,” residents of the city still have space to enjoy the natural landscape of the park-like site.

more photos via A Metallic Solar Powered Cloud Museum for Xiamen China | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Posted in communication and networking, electronic imaging and displays, museum

Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web | Video on

Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.

via Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web | Video on

Amit Sood is a Group Marketing Manager for Google; he’s worked with the Android team in Mountain View and has led marketing efforts for Google’s GEO products. His passion for art led him to initiate a “20 percent time” project to bring museums onto the web — which turned into the ambitious new Art Project. He writes:

It started when a small group of us who were passionate about art got together to think about how we might use our technology to help museums make their art more accessible — not just to regular museum-goers or those fortunate to have great galleries on their doorsteps, but to a whole new set of people who might otherwise never get to see the real thing up close.

We’re also lucky here to have access to technology like Picasa and App Engine and to have colleagues who love a challenge — like building brand-new technology to enable Street View to go indoors!

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, museum

Adobe Museum of Digital Media

This debuted a couple of weeks ago, and I’m only getting around to writing about it now. Adobe launched the Museum of Digital Media, and logically did so online.

The home screenview of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media

The mission of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media is to showcase and preserve groundbreaking digital work and expert commentary to illustrate how digital media shapes and impacts today’s society.

Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and accessible everywhere, AMDM is a place to reflect on the importance and impact of digital media in our lives. The museum is an ever-changing repository of eclectic exhibits. Shows will be curated by leaders in art, technology, and business to inspire fresh conversation about our constantly evolving digital landscape.

It’s a great showcase of ideas, art, and the technology enabling these ideas to be realized. One interesting tidbit is that they tried to design the website with the physical experience of a museum in mind.

There are definitely some cool exhibits viewing right now, so poke around and leave a comment either here or on the museum’s site.

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, museum

Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause : NPR

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...
Happy Earth Day, you green marble! Image via Wikipedia

Spring is here (finally), with Easter Sunday this weekend, Earth Day on Friday, and the dandelions shooting up all over. What a great time to celebrate “Green.” But not just as a color; an art exhibit in D.C. explores green as a concept, from cause to color to commentary.

Spring is far enough along in parts of the country that it seems appropriate to talk about the color of the season: green. It’s a color that has come to take on many meanings — envy, ecology, money and more. A new exhibition at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., celebrates green’s symbolism. The show is called Green: The Color and the Cause.

In New Jersey, artist Nancy Cohen explored ecological green in the state’s waterways. She traveled along the Mullica River, on foot and by boat, and “spent some time meeting with marine biologists and environmentalists,” Cohen says. “The water is a brownish color because cedar trees leach into the water, and even though the water’s clean, it has a kind of tea color. As the river progresses and moves toward the ocean, it becomes bluer and bluer.”

more via Celebrating Green: As Color, As Concept, As Cause : NPR.

Posted in communication and networking, engineering, museum

Computer history museum goes online

Comparing the Omnibot with his contemporary, t...
Image via Wikipedia

It only seems fitting that a museum devoted entirely to the computer get an online exhibit space:

The online version of the Computer History Museum‘s impressive real-life exhibit on the birth and evolution of computing went live on the Web a few days ago, and besides being a nifty way to indulge in nostalgia, it has a shot at igniting an inventive spark in students and even the grown-ups who surround them.

That’s what good museums do, isn’t it? Entertain and inspire. Challenge and enlighten. It’s true of museums in storied old buildings. And it’s true of museums sitting in the cloud waiting for the world to come through its digital doors.

“We just put online more than 4,500 pages of content covering the width and breath of computer history,” Bob Sanguedolce, the Mountain View museum’s vice president of technology, said at the site’s official launch.

“This is especially important when a search-driven world has conditioned us to expect a vast amount of accessible information to be right at our fingertips,” museum CEO John Hollar said at the kickoff event.

But wait, you eagle-eye readers may ask, where’s the art part? As the curators point out, building an online museum takes LOTS of attention to style, art, design, and how to get users in the virtual doors.

There is a certain joy that a museum without walls brings to its curators. Space is not an issue. But the fact that everything and the kitchen sink (or in this case the Honeywell Kitchen Computer) will fit on the website means the organization of the site needs to be all that more disciplined. And a Web-based museum comes with its own challenges.

“In a physical existence there is one door,” Sanguedolce said after the news conference. “But in an online exhibit there are a thousand doors, and you’re never really sure where somebody is going to come in in an online exhibit.”

Go visit the online exhibit: