321 University Library       Kent, OH 44242-0001       (330) 672-3887       muselab@kent.edu


Hours:

Mondays & Fridays 10 am-4 pm

Wednesdays 1 pm-7 pm

 

Great Things We've Done

Museum Collections Library Cases

Each spring, students in the Museum Collections class put together a collection of 30 objects to use for a series of projects. We asked students to share their collections in our library case and share their reflections on the course. So far, we've seen seed packets and dice! 

Let's go to the Museum!

Using books from the Reinberger Children's Library Center, the Marantz Picturebook Collection, and Dr. Latham's bookshelf, we explored how museums are portrayed in children's books. We found themes of Mystery & Wonder, Behind the Scenes, Beyond the Classroom, and The Real Thing, and exhibited books in those categories. 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Music Makerspace Test Exhibit

To help the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame improve an element of their upcoming interactive exhibit, we hosted a test exhibit at the lab. Over 230 participants provided feedback about their experience using a songwriting interactive. 

Postcards to the MuseLab 

In this crowdsourced exhibit, we asked our friends to send us postcards from wherever they found themselves over the summer. We received 45 postcards, which we shared in a series of exhibits in our library case and wall gallery!

#YourLabel 

Inspired by the Museum of Broken Relationships, we crowdsourced the labels for this exhibit. Visitors wrote their own labels for a series of objects that we shared in our case by the front door of the library and online. People shared poems, short stories, and other narratives in response to the objects. We displayed each object with all of the labels that were contributed. 

Berger Hearing Aid Museum: Mini Exhibit
 

This small exhibit presents a select few unique hearing aids from the Berger Hearing Aid collection. The collection is currently stored in the MuseLab while its permanent home undergoes renovations. With this exhibit we've highlighted 10 of our favorite hearing aids from the 1930s to the 1960s. These objects underline the changes in technology, style, and efficiency of the devices and describes how one decades innovations can lead to groundbreaking technologies for the coming years.

Tales from the Curb

Once destined for the land fill, four seemingly functional chairs were rescued from the curbs of Kent area homes over the past two years. Why did they end up there? What stories do they have to tell? Student groups in the fall 2016 Museum Communication course were tasked with these questions and given the assignment of answering them for each of the four chairs, using the Object Knowledge Framework, a conceptual device for exhibit-making. These students gave each chair personality and relayed a tale, providing a “stage” for their former life. As part of this story, they addressed how each chair ended up on a curb, answering the question, what does it mean to throw things away? 

Tales from the Curb

Once destined for the land fill, four seemingly functional chairs were rescued from the curbs of Kent area homes over the past two years. Why did they end up there? What stories do they have to tell? Student groups in the fall 2016 Museum Communication course were tasked with these questions and given the assignment of answering them for each of the four chairs, using the Object Knowledge Framework, a conceptual device for exhibit-making. These students gave each chair personality and relayed a tale, providing a “stage” for their former life. As part of this story, they addressed how each chair ended up on a curb, answering the question, what does it mean to throw things away? 

Looking Through Glass
 

The Looking Through Glass exhibit was guest curated by Kevin Wolfgang, Kent States TechStyleLAB Manager in conjunction with MuseLab staff. This exhibit was designed to present a range of objects and scenarios thematically linked by glass to challenge notions of what is “proper” and “necessary.” The presentation demanded critical thought as well as an optimistic bend regarding how glass can be used to enhance one’s experience.

Mona Lisa X 4

Mona Lisa x 4 was developed as a research project in conjunction with colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution and Duquesne University. It was developed, designed, and installed  by SLIS students from Fall 2015 Museum Communication course and Spring 2016 Culminating Experience project students. The exhibit was designed to test four different perspectives (from the IPOP model of experience preference) of the master painting, Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci. Students from across the campus participated in the research study which will soon be analyzed and disseminated.

Beauty of Data

People don’t often think of words, numbers, measurements or other pieces of “data” as beautiful. Yet, if they look around, they’ll see that the entire world is built using data — and it’s beautiful. MuseLab director and SLIS Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., together with museum studies students Cori Iannaggi and Mitch Sumner, invited Kent State researchers from all fields of study to submit visualizations created from their research. Their goal was to find examples of data coming together to create something beautiful. Watch a timelapse of the installation here!

Bio-luminaires

Bio·luminaires are a series of lamp shades that are inspired by nature and digitally designed and fabricated. The 3D printed lamps are the result of extensive digital design iterations produced using a parametric design software, as well as multiple physical prototypes. The work was produced by upper level undergraduate and graduate architecture students from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design in an elective titled, Digital Crafting. Visit the blog page to read more about this exhibit!

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The University Innovation Fellows crash the MuseLab!

 

In November of 2015, Univeristy Innovation fellows spent time at the Kent State University Fashion School participating in a wearables make-a-thon and brought their wearables to the MuseLab to create a crash exhibition. The whole process was done "backwards" or the opposite way exhibits are usually made. Students had one hour to design an exhibit based on their creations. Once they did that, together they determined the big idea and finally decided on the title. The exhibit it titled, "6 hours. 15 participants. Endless possibilities." MuseLab staff and the fellows all had a great time making, and the end result turned out great! 

The Fashion School's Third Annual Hackathon

In January, the Fashion School at Kent State University hosted the third annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon at Rockwell Hall. The Hackathon is a cross-curricular event allowing teams of student participants to create and innovate within the realm of wearable technology. It was presented in partnership with the Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB and Kent State’s LaunchNET (formerly Blackstone LaunchPad).

During the Hackathon, students spent 36 hours developing a project of their choice, usually in the form of a technology-enhanced garment or wearable-responsive app. Each team was given free access to the TechStyleLAB, the Fashion School’s digital textile fabrication space, along with a variety of electronic and textile materials. Visit the blog page to read more about this exhibit!

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(Non)Fiction: Literary Legends Unbound


In collaboration with the Massillon Museum (Ohio), the MuseLab received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in their Big Read program. The exhibit was based on Massillon’s Big Read book selection, Old School by Tobias Wolff, which tells the story of a boy in his senior year of high school who enters into a writing competition for a chance to have a meet and greet with author’s Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway. This fully interactive exhibit recreated the workspaces of the three authors featured in the book and provided an intimate look into the lives of each literary icons.

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Museality

 

Curated by MuseLab director, Dr. Kiersten F. Latham, the exhibit titled, Museality, was the signature installation of the MuseLab that explored how an object changes meaning once it is put on exhibit. This exhibit encouraged visitors to think about objects in unconventional ways by purposefully placing them in situations one may not expect. The exhibit asked questions like, is a clay syrup container art? Is a toy ferris wheel science? Can a gum ball machine represent history? You tell us. Objects were randomly changed throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visit the blog page to read more about this exhibit!

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DOCAM 2014 Instantiation

 

This pop-up "like" exhibit was an experimental project created for the international academic conference, DOCAM (Document Academy) held at Kent State SLIS in summer 2014. Each presenter was asked to contribute a document (an object) to represent their paper presentation, which would then be placed on exhibit for the duration of the conference. The exhibit was designed fast and with materials that were readily on hand. The result was dependent on what the presenters contributed. More information about the process of creating the exhibit can be found in a published article, Instantiation: Academia's Pop-Up Museum, for the DOCAM 2014 proceedings.

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What's Real?
Investigating Multimodality


A collaborative project designed and installed by Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design students with the purpose of uncovering which modes of interaction people find to be the most "real." Students were divided into five teams and assigned a specific mode of interaction - introduction, movement, sound, text, and touch - using the top hat as the central theme. The result was a beautifully designed exhibition that was fascinating and fun.

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For the Love of Religion


A culminating experience project designed and installed by Kent State University alum, Emily O'connor, focused on the various expressions of love, through the lens of four religions: Buddhism. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The exhibit also explored each religion's interpretation of Divinity and their religious practices, and highlighted how the concept of love was embedded in each of their teachings. Visitors were able to compare and contrast the viewpoints presented with their own and other visitors via a physical discussion board in the space.

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The Power of Pictures:
75 Years of the Caldecott Medal

 

The MuseLab's first exhibit was done entirely by our students. The Power of Pictures celebrated the 75th anniversary of the prestigious children's book illustrator award - the Caldecott Medal. Four books were hand chosen that lent themselves to telling stories three dimensionally. For each book, a significant object was chosen to highlight and represent the entire story. Each section also contained a synopsis of the book, Caldecott award information, and a quote that encapsulated the essence of the story.