A Pointless Play Structure



I happened upon this play structure via the article below:


It’s a cool concept allowing open play without offering any real instruction or purpose, leaving kids to use their imaginations. There are no tasks to complete or content to absorb. Something like this could be a neat idea for a more art or object-focused museum as a kind of installation piece. The simple graphic patterns and wood construction add to the structure’s ambiguity, allowing it to be whatever the children playing on it want it to be.




This organization (and their award) is new to me. Seems like it’s the industry inventing an award to give itself for member publicity, but none-the-less, the projects are an interesting animal -large scale commissioned art pieces, some of which are interactive. As we play more and more in this field (think Speed Light Race, Dayton Dragon Flyer, CSC icons) helpful to see to see what types of projects are being funded. EventScape has several pieces in the list:


I gave the page a quick review. Here’s a few that caught my eye:

Water Lobby (we should steal this idea, watch the video, very simple, very effective)



Deep Web (an ambitious dance of lasers & moving sculpture)


Spannungsfeld (interesting conceptually)


Magic Book – variation

Mike D found this different version of a Magic Book. Interesting that they are using rigid pages which takes away from the interesting nature of the tactile pages I think but probably helps quite a bit with registering content on the page. Calvin thinks they are using the black icons on each page as page number codes.

The Interpretation Shop – AV hardware

Came across this company recently. They rep themselves as an AV hardware company that specializes in elements for interpretative environments.

Saw their headphones in use at the Blues museum in St. Louis and was impressed with the beefy armored cable and heavy duty swivel point connection (see photos). They also sell interesting solutions like weather proof, solar powered interp audio stations for outdoor use (think zoos, natural trails). They are in England, but if the quality is high, might be worth dealing with an overseas supplier to obtain hardware elements that would require considerable R&D if we produced internally. And since their solar and hand crank options should be completely self-contain (i.e. self-powered) shouldn’t be issues with different electrical standards. Not the prettiest stuff, but I could see us finding ways to incorporate the hardware into our own structure / scenic envelops with good results. They also sell full service kiosk design & fab (content & hardware) through their Blackbox website.

Audio Post



Audio Bench




Visitor Powered Outdoor Audio Stations (the hand crank is a novel approach)




Armor Cable Headphones





You Draw it! – NYTimes interactives

NYTimes interactives has been using this technique recently, which I think is a nice, simple way to have visitors engage with data. The format is to present partial data on a graphic and then ask visitors to “draw” in the rest of the data before they see the real results. Uber simple but I think the technique promotes reflection and hypothesis by the visitor, and thus probably a greater likelihood that the results will make an impact i.e. they are proven right or surprised by the newly discovered reasons of why there were wrong. It’s also very touch-screen and dwell-time friendly.

A few examples:

Museum of Failure

I love this as a topic for a gallery or museum. Need to keep thinking of ways to approach classic topics w/ fresh perspective. This is (and could be made more so) a museum about innovation but the failure spin is a great hook.

Reminds me of our plan to theme an Evolution gallery at BMS as all about Extinction.