I feel like I have been pretty quiet about the whole Exhibit Design project I began writing about in early January, so I figured I would give an update. The title of this entry relates to my first class in Exhibit Design, where Bill Turkel asked us to think about some history appliances that we might construct to help people engage with history in their everyday life. The premise of a history appliance is an interesting one, which I recommend you read more about in the blogs Digital History Hacks and Old is the New New.
Anyways, the idea that Dana Johnson and I came up with is the Dance Dance Education machine (brought to you by the good folks at Dance Dance Revolution). The basic idea is a LCD dance floor that teaches users different dances. The floor would be paired with a wall-mounted LCD screen to show both instruction and demonstrations of the dances. Cameras in the room could capture the user's movements for playback, and could possibly even provide feedback on how to improve. The experience would of course be set to authentic music. What Dana and I really liked about this idea was that it would help conserve dance as intangible cultural heritage by maintaining the ability for people to learn the movements regardless of if a living being is available to teach them.
One of the things I really enjoy about the Interactive Exhibit Design class has been creating ideas like the one above; ways in which people can learn history in engaging, non-traditional ways. Some of my ideas have, for one reason or another, been unfeasible, but I think that some show real promise. These later ones I have posted on my Exhibit Design Website, and I welcome you to take a look. As always, feedback is encouraged.