The First Person Museum seeks to explore the histories and stories embedded in everyday objects. Their stated mission is "to share those objects, along with the stories behind them, both online and at a live multi-media exhibition". The FPM shows the visitor that oftentimes there can be an unexpected and rich history in the objects worth illuminating. What do a ring, stuffed bear, wedding dress, pan and shawl mean to the people who own them and more broadly what do they mean to our society at large?
2- Organize your storyline into "galieries of thought"
The FPM arrangement could use a combination of category and theme. Carla's Wedding Ring could be stand for "marriage" or more abstractly "loss". The objects in the First Person Museum all lend themselves well to the concept of observation or deduction as well. There would be be traditional labels that provide historical context. The juxtaposition of "loss" and the historical information could give the viewer a clue, but leave it to the viewer to speculate on any deeper meaning.
3- Inventory the content and pin down the most important facts
Viewers should be left to discover more information as "history detectives". Discovery of the personal meanings of the objects could be presented through headphones from the voice of the owner in a micro-oral history of sorts.
4- Find ways to motivate and engage your visitors
Step 4 asks the designer to integrate multiple viewpoints, interactivity and invitation for the viewers to contribute. An interactive element I envision would be through a mic affixed to the wall beside the object. Before listening to the "micro-oral history" from the original owner, users would be invited to contribute one of their own. Each user would have a maximum of two minutes to answer the question, "Do you have a ring? What does yours mean to you?" Their meaning would be contrasted by the museums voice on the interpretive label and the owners voice they are about to play. Each new history would record over the other so museum goers never experience the same context twice.
5- Plan the "look and feel" of your exhibit
The objects would displayed on their own rather than in shared cases or stands in a sparse, free-standing, off-white pedestals. On the wall behind the pedestal would be large decal lettering (approximately 1.5' high) with the name of the object in black. There would also be projections of media referencing the object on the wall along with vinyl wallpaper that has different archival material (articles and other pictures) that piece together some of the context or play off the ideas presented in the museum interpretive text. Films where it has played a role projected on the wall. The idea would be to draw each object out and elevate the vernacular objects to museum like status. The other text and archival material would be supplementary and hopefully not overpower the objects.
Despite being in in a common room, there would be relatively dim lighting in the room as a whole with lighting spotlighting each object. The idea would be to create distinct spaces within the shared one where museum goers could experience each separate object.
6- Produce and install- Mock-up
(wish I could convey this better)