This image is a mod of a Smithsonian ad campaign. It’s a slide from another (previously) Aaron Straup Cope presentation worth reading and thinking about: “We Were Otaku Before It Was Cool.”
A few clips:
The distinction between museums and archives (and by extension libraries) is collapsing in most people’s minds. Assuming it ever existed, in the first place.
When I say the distinction I mean both the roles themselves and their relationship to one another. And when I say collapsing I don’t mean to imply a catastrophic end of days but rather a kind of simultaneous “passing-through” of any one field through all the others. A smushing together.
What I especially love are those three words at the bottom [of the “patch that the Government Digital Services team, in London, made for themselves”]: Trust. Users. Delivery.
I know some of the people on the design end of GDS and one of them, I forget who, used a lovely expression to describe their work. They said: There is no design, there is only reckoning.
We are, all of us, burdened by stories of success and growth that resemble the curve of a hockey stick. We should all aspire to that but it is important to remember that it doesn’t always happen that way and that patience (and by extension confidence) in an endeavour is as important as making a splashy debut.
Sometimes it takes people a while to see or realize the consequence of an opportunity, for the simple reason that we all lead busy lives. We need to not simply provide access and delivery but to ensure that we do it in a way that lends itself to people adapting it to their individual lives. There are many ways. A random button is just one.
Again: There is no design, only reckoning.
In that way our opportunity [as a museum] is not simply to be an archive or a record or a lens on past objects but also a surface with texture that can accumulate the many fictions that the present tells itself about its history.