An important purpose behind the design of the third year of the Kaospilot programme is to prepare the students to become professionals. Whatever that means depends greatly on the type of work they imagine to be engaged in the future. We encourage them to take the plunge into various scenes to notice what is going on right now: Who are the people that have paved their way? Who is leading the next curve? Who is holding the traditions? Through the means of research, they form a sort of guild of all the people that are following the same areas of interest that inspires the field each student wish to step into with their last project at school.

MUSEUMOFNOW_BLOG

Photo by: Hilmar Guðjónsson

 

What they dig up in this process is amazing. From the very personal relation, to a current mega-trend on the horizon, no stone is left unturned. What emerges is highly personal and detailed snapshots of trends, change makers and awe-inspiring initiatives collected on so called scan cards and turned into a rich library of inspiration. All of these great finds used to only be accessible to the other team members and possibly some of the staff at Kaospilot, but last year we set out to get much more out of this treasure. We wanted to challenge the team to inspire and educate the rest of the organisation and if possible, more of the world through a live inspiration installation. The concept was named “Museum of Now” — a deep dive into what is currently going on in the world.

 

This year, Sigrid, Johanne and Johan from Team 19 picked up the brief on behalf of the whole team. They lead the team through a deeply personal and art-inspired process. This process managed to elevate the scattered and massive amount of somewhat technical “scan-cards” into a finely curated and rich experience, greatly enjoyed by the rest of the school.

 

We sat down to chat a little with the lead-designer of the group Sigrid Moses Jacobsen about how you go from cold data collecting to sharing magic in a matter of days.

 

 

KP: Could you maybe start out by sharing a bit about your exhibition-design for the ones who missed out on the opportunity to see this live.

 

SJ: I would love to! Maybe a better place to start is to share a bit about our overall concept, if that is okay with you…

 

KP: Sure!

 

SJ: (laughs) I hoped you would say that! We worked from a couple of guiding principles:

We really wanted the people that showed up to get involved and we needed them to be almost as excited about what we have found as we are. The only way we could achieve that was by creating a great space that would make people feel special and invited and by making sure that we would share personal stories rather than technical data. That was essential. It also meant that even though we took great inspiration from the world of museums in our way of thinking about presenting things in a beautiful way, we learned a lot from the world of theatre by adding a performance element to the whole thing.

 

KP: Share a little more about that please.

 

SJ: In a museum you are not restricted by time. You mostly move freely between objects for as long as you like and you can even skip something if it doesn’t feel interesting to you. The theatre is different. There is a dramatic build up — a story for instance — that guides you through the experience, and forces you to be in contact with various scenes and characters in a given moment and for as long as the director wishes — if it is traditional theatre at least. By combining the two, we got a powerful hybrid: strong symbolic objects that could speak for themselves with the team acting as actors — or curators — that would unfold some of these objects in a personal way during a set time, together with a small group of people.

 

KP: Now you need to share how the experience unfolded I guess for that to make sense…

 

SJ: Oh yes… So if we take it from the top, we started with a special entrance. We have been very inspired by rituals of secret societies, especially the Elysian mysteries of ancient Greece.

From there we got the idea of treating the crowd, as if they are getting initiated into a sacred chamber. We wanted to build suspense and really lead them in, so we made them all wear the type of hats you use at a pharmacy lab, and I gave a speech about how to look and move in the space.

From there they were led in to the first chamber which had a path of raw eggs to symbolise how new and fragile our findings were. After another speech, we finally allowed them to enter the main chamber. Here we gathered around a beautifully lit table of sculptures made by each of the team-members. They symbolised the current state of each of our final projects. Making them was a part of our process with the team and this creative outburst really helped us make sense of who we are right now and the transformation we are currently undergoing from student to professional.

 

KP: That sounds quite personal.

 

SJ: It really was and is. I believe all the attention Johanne, Johannes and I put towards letting everyone in to the process in a gentle and personal way, made us work incredibly as a team. Something many of the visitors mentioned as being really felt.

 

KP: So what happened after the table?

 

SJ: Then we moved on to the main part: our forest of inspiration. Team members had made a triangular cardboard structure that held their best research findings, according to a system. We renamed the scan-cards into “Magic Cards” inspired by the game of the same name and how that works with various qualities in each character — or in our case inspirational finds. At the bottom of our pyramid we had twelve cards we called basic ingredients. This is a thing we consider good to know like common business models, important trends or key players in our field of research.  The next level had five cards we called vital ingredients. This is stuff that made us really excited and inspired. Finally on top we had what we called “The Flame-card” — our most cherished inspiration.

 

KP: You mentioned theatre earlier — how did that get into play?

 

SJ: Glad you asked! We had divided the “forest” into four sections. When we opened the hand by a guide that would lead them to a special triangle or tree grabbed it up people. Here the owner of this specific collection who would take them through some of their finds would greet them. During our preparation we worked a lot with the team to make them good at being compelling storytellers, and that was evident at this point. A small group of up to 8 people took part in a 20 minute sharing “performance”. After this round they were picked up by another guide and taken to another triangle. This repeated four times with a short break after the second round.

 

KP: So people didn’t get to choose what they got to see?

 

SJ: Yes and… In the end the exhibition was open like a traditional museum, but we wanted to stress the idea that everything was inspiring and delivered with care. We see this inspiration as gifts we give to the visitors, and in that light every gift should be received with an open heart.

 

KP: That makes a lot of sense. As a final question: what do you think this experience has meant to the team and the people who participated?

 

SJ: A lot! I think this way of personalising our research to such an extent that we could share it as gifts with the community has really made us all aware of the power of finding things that resonate with us, and how they can resonate deeply with others too if delivered in the right way. I believe we managed to inspire each other and the visitors in so many ways. I got many heart-warming reactions from people who were there, and I really saw the team step up to this challenge with so much grace. We feel ready for the next step in our process: turning all this great inspiration into our personal offer to the world. Now we are greatly aware of the standard out there and we got so many leads to follow and people to learn from as well as a great wind in our backs from a supportive community that feels attached to our projects. I can’t wait to see where we all end up this summer!

 

MuseumOfNow kaospilot 2014 from KAOSPILOT AARHUS on Vimeo.