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RISD Museum

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'Objects Speak'

Actually no, but yes, they do to me.  

Conservation and Curatorial colleagues chose this phrase to name a prototyping and developement project, of which I was chosen to execute the design and fabrication.  Six examples of object family types where chosen. The major requirement was that three different mount to object interfaces would be developed for each object. To further complicate, develop three different security approaches for each of these interface examples to glass shelves.


Artifact Mount design requires a healthy amount of data collection.  The majority of objects that I am tasked to work with require custom object mounts where there may be no consistency other than vague semblance. Physical attributes, weight, shape profiles, center of gravity, condition reports when needed, and special needs considerations are but some the things that will steer design and development of a functional and correct mount.  An exhibit designers vision may include presenting the object to the viewer, in an orientation other than naturally occurring, and at times 'appearing' frighteningly out of balance or on the verge of flight.


The actual moment of handling these artifacts, learning their shapes and function, acknowledging their flaws, understanding wear patterns, weakpoints, past breaks and repairs is, as important as all the other data together if not more so.  This aspect is the most engaging and exciting.  Any questions, or issues blocking creative process in the development of design, function or the fabrication and installation process often become clear when the object is finally in hand.  Somehow, the objects really do speak.







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