Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2014
For my Media Lab internship during the Spring 2014 semester, I decided to pair 3D models of the Met's structure I received from the Buildings Department with official Audio Guide content. The aim was to construct an immersive virtual-reality tour of the Museum, complete with 3D-scanned models of art pieces on view in the galleries of Greek and Roman Art. This environment, created with the game engine Unity, can be experienced either on a computer screen or through the virtual-reality head-mounted display Oculus Rift.
Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2014
In 1941 the Museum decided to consolidate staff charged with maintaining contact with schools, colleges, institutions of the city, and the Department of Education into one cohesive group, entitled the Department of Education and Museum Extension. This division would encompass general guide services, adult education and lecture programs, curatorial study rooms, circulating exhibitions and lending collections, visual materials (lantern slides, photographs), and the Junior Museum.
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014
This past May, I made a familiar pilgrimage to The Cloisters, the northern Manhattan branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Fort Tryon Park. The Cloisters are a unique treasure of the museum world, featuring beautiful gardens, a stunning collection of medieval art, and majestic spaces. The purpose of my journey was to spend the day with Museum staff testing Google Glass. The camera within Google Glass would be the focus of our exploration on this memorable day, helping my colleagues and I to see the space in new ways.
Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Last winter I attended a presentation at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, where I had previously worked as an intern. One of the speakers was Don Undeen, senior manager of Media Lab at the Met, who presented many interesting projects his Media Lab colleagues were working on that used a number of emerging technologies. Among these technologies were 3D scanning and 3D printing, which I had a particular interest in thanks to my background in video, 3D animation, photography, and sculpture.
Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014
With the Met App now launched, it's been fantastic tracking the public response to this new digital product. I was delighted that the app was featured as one of the Best New Apps in the AppStore, and that The New York Times praised the app for its "lovely, clean design that begs to be explored." And, in case you missed it, I also enjoyed the playful overview of our press launch in ArtNews.
My favorite article, though, has been Seth Porge's piece for Forbes: "The Met's New App Is Modest, But Could Foreshadow Big Things." Porge reviews the app through the lens of the Lean Startup playbook: "Design a product, work out the kinks, see how people use it, and build and iterate off that;" and argues that "the current version [of the app] can be viewed as the Met's minimal viable product (MVP)."
That's exactly how we see it, too.
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014
Games—and video games in particular—are often consigned to the unfortunate category of "frivolous," thought to sap away valuable time that could be spent pursuing more sophisticated, "useful" activities. I'm glad that the Metropolitan Museum feels otherwise: my focus this summer, as the Solow Art and Architecture Intern in Digital Learning, has been to create game and play experiences to educate and engage kids ages seven through twelve with the Museum and its collection.
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Department of Islamic Art's fifteen galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia are some of the most visually striking in the entire Museum. Located on the second floor of the North Wing, visitors are greeted by elaborate patterns carved and painted on many objects—from ceramic bowls to tapestries and arches. Tiles tessellate in repeating patterns across the walls, and in one room the ceiling is covered with intricately carved geometric patterns. With a collection of over twelve thousand objects, these galleries illustrate the fascinating diversity of the culture of Islam.
Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014
The Museum's Main Building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street has practically been under construction since it was first completed in 1880. Growing and changing to accommodate the ever-expanding collection and visitor base, the building has been shaped by each director's initiatives, all with an eye toward accommodating future needs and demands. Wings have been added, galleries have been reconfigured, spaces have been renovated and changed time and time again, and some are wholly unrecognizable from their earliest days. In order to accommodate the collection, the Museum strives to create the perfect atmosphere for its artworks; curators strive to convey time and place, history and subtext—maintaining a great sensitivity to the past, but remaining firmly steeped in the present.
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014
Digital Underground continues its Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Workshop series by taking a look at a project that tackled the thorny problem of accessible wayfinding in a large, overwhelming museum such as the Met. Not only did the participants in this group develop a paper prototype outlining a user interface for wayfinding, they also did the practical work of walking through the Museum's first floor and identifying multiple points of accessibility metadata (stairs, lighting, acoustics, flooring, etc.) for every room. This effort led directly to a follow-up project during the following semester by Media Lab Intern Yuliya Parchina-Kottas, which you can read more about in her Digital Underground post. We caught up with this workshop team to discuss the inspiration for their project, and how the workshop helped them to better understand the museum experience.
Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
During the Fall 2013 semester, the Met and Parsons The New School for Design forged a new partnership, Met + Parsons Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop, to explore possibilities for using technology to improve the museum experience for visitors with disabilities. Our first featured project from that workshop, Eye on Art, focused on developing an eye-tracking system that would enhance the experiences of nonverbal and mobility-challenged art lovers. We recently sat down with the student participants to discuss their inspiration for this project, and the challenges they encountered in the process.