How do we better “learn” exhibits? Exhibits at Smithsonian are vast educational experiences. They offer thought-provoking content to help us make meaningful connections about the objects in our world. Here, learning is relevant, exciting and exponential. Yet, these rich learning environments (and the effort it takes to create them) are ephemeral. Here today gone tomorrow. But need they be? What if there was a repository for the museum experience? What if exhibit design was transformed into digital 3D objects, virtual walkthroughs and online teaching modules?

This is the primary focus of a fellowship that the PI will be serving out this fall — working with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA). The goal of this project is to create teaching materials for their online platform called the Learning Lab: 

This grant application focuses on only one component of the fellowship: 3D imaging.

Grant funds would help us figure out best 3D scanning methods to build digital model(s). The initial work would serve as a trial, focusing on one or more of the following artifacts:

  • A test scan of a Bauhaus sculpture (table-top)
  • A test model of a Bauhaus sculpture (outdoor)

These objects were chosen due to their “teaching potential” (in terms of historical context and form) and could potentially align with a forthcoming Smithsonian exhibit called "Herbert Bayer: Modern Graphic Designer".

Through this grant, best scanning / modeling practices would be resolved (in terms of lighting and settings; laser and photogrammetry, etc.), as well as how these 3D images could function online — on the Learning Lab platform.

Historical research and instructional text will also be written to supplement these models online. Student learning objects would reflect the affordances of spatial learning and what Herbert Bayer refers to as “the extension of vision” (or “expanding human fields of vision” to offer new learning perspectives).

Assessment and feedback will happen through our advisor at the Smithsonian’s Center for Learning and Digital Access.