Screen shot of second life.: The Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation & Invention
The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and
Innovation today launched a collaborative design project with The Tech
Virtual at the The Tech Museum in San Jose, CA With a series of
design challenges hosted by The Tech Virtual, the Lemelson Center
invites the public to develop and prototype design concepts for the
center’s next exhibition, tentatively titled "Places of Invention."
of Invention" will focus on hot spots of invention--areas where a
critical mass of inventive people, networks, institutions and resources
converge and creativity flourishes. The design project will
simultaneously foster a dialogue about hot spots of invention and
contribute to a new, participatory model for doing museum work. The
Tech Virtual is a new approach to creating invention and science-based
exhibit content for museums using the virtual world of Second Life as a
platform for content development, allowing the Lemelson Center to
collect fresh ideas and use the most innovative tools available.
Lemelson Center’s mission to foster and advance innovation starts at
home," said Arthur Molella, director of the center. "The partnership
with The Tech Virtual not only allows us to build interest around the
ways that place shapes the inventive process but also to live our
mission by developing our exhibitions and programs through creative and
The public can contribute work in
three categories: design an interactive exhibit space that allows
museum visitors to model their own place of invention, design an
activity that encourages museum visitors to practice collaboration, or
use a virtual environment or other design tools to model the
contributor’s own place of invention. For design briefs and more
information, visit The Tech Virtual Workshop Museum.
Submissions must include at least a two-paragraph text description and
at least four digital images to document the project. Contributors may
use any tool, digital or non-digital, to document and illustrate
ideas--the use of Second Life is not required. All materials should be
posted to the "Places of Invention" project page on The Tech Virtual
website by June 30. Contributors will receive ongoing feedback from
museum staff and those who complete contributions in Second Life--a
professional, collaborative prototyping tool--can participate in weekly
design forums hosted in Second Life.
Notable entries may be
featured on the Lemelson Center’s website. The most compelling
contributions, as judged by the center, may be developed further by
museum staff for inclusion in the physical "Places of Invention"
exhibition. Contributions may generate new content, questions, designs
and ideas that will help shape the Lemelson Center’s exhibition
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and
science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The
museum--located in Silicon Valley--is a non-profit learning resource
established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies
affecting their lives. The Tech Museum launched The Tech Virtual in
December 2007. For more information, visit The Tech Museum.
Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center is dedicated to exploring invention in
history and encouraging inventive creativity in young people. The
center is supported by The Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy
established by one of the country’s most prolific inventors, Jerome
Lemelson, and his family. The Lemelson Center is located in the
National Museum of American History. For more information, visit The Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian Museum.