If you haven’t heard about the new Pen at the renovated Cooper-Hewitt, it’s all the buzz in the museum world. It’s the tool that changed a traditional museum into a leading model for the digital age. As it turns out, the pen is just the tip of the disruptive iceberg (you can read more about the shape of that ‘berg here).
In this post I aim to describe my first experience with the Pen and then explore how that experience shaped my time within a new temporary exhibit: Tools: Extending Our Reach.
PEN IN PERMANENT HALLS
The Immersion Room often gets the most attention within recent press coverage, a room designed to put “wallcoverings back in context.” You’re not interested in wallpaper, you might say? (I know I did). But there I found myself, eagerly waiting in line to explore a database of design patterns. All thanks to a digital experience accessed through my Pen.
The pen has two ends – one is the stylus, for interacting with touch screens, while the other sends your identity to the screens. In other words, it’s like your memory – one is short term and the other is long term.
The experience begins with the identity end of the stick, so the table knows who I am. Then on the touch table I use the stylus end of the stick to drag patterns into my workspace or create my own from scratch. I hit the Live button and send my pattern to decorate the two walls around me. I can keep modifying my design – flip it, move it, color it – and watch the change kaleidoscope around me and those with me in real time.
A teenager makes a design then stands in front of the projector, wallpapering himself in the process. He hold out his arms and yells Continue reading