I found Anna Slafer’s presentation at the International Spy Museum on the museum’s current challenges and the future plans for the building. I find it very interesting and insightful to learn more about exhibit design and the museum’s storytelling approach for a new space. As Slafer mentioned, there is a great opportunity here. I agree with my classmates as we agreed that this 2002 museum felt a little outdated and could be confusing at times. I look forward to seeing the new museum in the future. During the presentation, I found parallels to our first workshop on storytelling by writer Tim Wendel. It felt like a full circle as we wrap up this seminar.
Tim Wendel spoke of structure during storytelling (I blogged about it here). Stories need structure. There is a beginning, middle and end. While at the same time, I have learned that one can be creative with it, just like our final projects. There are structural elements that help you tell a good storytelling; this applies to journalism (Wendel) and museum exhibit design (Slafer). I like Slafer’s point that “a story begins when something actually happens.” I thought of Wendel’s point that action, not movement, propels a story forward. It is now a narrative and not a summary. This is where the title from this blog post, And. But. Therefore., come into play. I will use these three words when analyzing exhibits told in museum exhibits. A.B.T. says that there is a story and something happens but then there is a challenge, perhaps tension, and then therefore there is an answer or end of the story. It found it interesting that not all stories followed this model but excited that this will be apparent in the new Spy Museum. I suspect that even though the museum can not tell every story, if they follow the aforementioned, then they will not need to. People will remember these stories and it will help limit confusion or feelings of boredom.
To conclude the blog, I just wanted to not that I have learned a great deal about museum experiences, exhibit design, visitor experience, and more. I know this will only make me a better museum professional and can’t wait to apply what I learned.