Museum Design Inspiration
Spent a short time at Abraham Lincoln’s cottage this weekend and stumbled into a beautifully designed interactive exhibit about immigration. If I had time, I could have taken a deep dive into a variety of different immigration stories, but since I had the little people in tow, we focused on the two interactive parts of the exhibit. 1. a chance to write your immigration story and post it on the walls next to other visitors’ stories and 2. using colored rubber bands to chart your journey on a peg-board map of the world. The entire exhibit design was so clean and clear, but also had this wonderful palette of colors that popped off the walls.
I don’t normally get very personal or political in this space, but the design of this exhibit sparked a conversation with my children about everything that has been happening in our country during this weird election season. We talked about where our ancestors came from and why, and then we looked at the other rubber bands on the map that showed the different journeys. The color-coded design of the map started a conversation about how our immigration story compared to other people’s journeys. We picked a yellow band (representing moving for freedom of religion or speech) and noticed that so many of the yellow bands showed a journey from Europe to the states while the gray bands (representing moving not by personal choice, but through force) showed journeys almost entirely from Africa to the southern states of the US.
While we didn’t go too deep into implicit bias, this was a great way dig into a conversation with my kids about the privilege they posses just by being a yellow rubber band and how important it is to support our friends whose journeys started with the gray rubber bands.