I love museums, especially historical ones, and I believe they truly provide a unique and exciting method of education. I would love to work in the museum field, so when I discovered that Vanderbilt was offering a class in exhibit design, I knew it would provide an excellent opportunity to learn all about museums.
My class is designed to make an exhibit of Chinese sculpture that will be on display in the fall of next year. My professor chose a very unique and high-tech approach to help us brainstorm ideas for designing the exhibit. We are using Kitely, a site that she has compared to Second Life. With the help of the Director of Visual Resources, she has created sample exhibit spaces for us to use online so that we can virtually design how we believe the exhibit should look.
When I entered the “world” they had created, I found myself surrounded by little boxes that were galleries with the names of members of our class on them. I felt like I was part of an HGTV design challenge where the designers get their own “spaces” to decorate. In the middle of this area sits what has been titled the “sculpture garden.” My professor and the Visual Resources director explained that the images we see in the program are to scale with the real objects that we will display, even in terms of three-dimensionality. There is also a “garden of pedestals” with the different platforms that the museum has.
So far, I’ve mostly explored around the world, playing around with my gallery and looking at all the different actions my avatar can perform, which were also discussed in class. I like the fact that I can move my “character” in different ways, by walking, running, or flying (which would have been very helpful in LOTRO!). I also played around with customizing my appearance (hence the awkward half-red, half-blue shirt that I’m sporting) and attempting to move the objects. I still have some difficulty moving around, and I am struggling to move objects from the center to my personal gallery. I’ve had some humorous challenges, such as “wearing” the pedestal instead of moving it somewhere else, or attempting to move around inside the gallery and not being able to see where I am. As in other games, practice makes perfect, and I look forward to seeing all of the exciting exhibits my classmates and I design.