10 Minute Museum

A project by IMAGINARY

What is a 10 Minute Museum?

August 28, 2020

IMAGINARY is exploring a new format for science communication we call 10 Minute Museums: self-contained, free-standing, portable, physical stations that offer the experience of a science museum exhibition in less than one square meter and in a brief amount of time. They can use all the forms of communication of a traditional exhibition (text, image, video, sound, physical objects), and various forms of interaction and participation (interactive software and input hardware).

10 Minute Museums are a form of “pop up” intervention of public spaces (libraries, shopping centers, tourist sites) that attract and surprise people, rewarding them with an unexpected enriching experience during their daily activity. They entice through an attractive construction and playful forms of interaction for a short but meaningful experience, which can be a starting point for a more prolonged engagement (inviting to a museum exhibition, providing a link to a book, podcast, mobile app, etc.).

Since the stations are free-standing, they can offer access to content from all their sides, allowing several people to interact with them simultaneously. They’re experienced by walking around them instead of the static experience of a traditional “kiosk.” The compact format with various content forms and interaction possibilities dynamically arranged on their body invite exploration and discovery. They can combine traditional forms like text, images, sound and video, and embedded display cases with touch screens, interactive lights, floor projection, or peepholes to watch stereographic pictures. They can provide visitor participation mechanisms from a simple mail slot (for written or drawn feedback) to sound or video recording and other richer interactions enabled by visitor’s mobile phones.

Climate Crisis

Our first 10 Minute Museum will focus on climate crisis science with a strong emphasis on mathematical modeling. We aim to explain what climate models are, how they are built, and what they can tell us. We will also cover mathematical models that explain or predict climate change’s effects on plant and animal life and human activities. Finally, we will present resources to dive deeper into the subject and ideas on how to take action from the political to the individual level.

We will develop it through a prototyping process that will involve its intended audience, scientific partners, and NGOs. Once completed, it will tour several venues in Germany.

The 10 Minute Museum Construction Kit

IMAGINARY will share its experience with this new format through a free and open digital booklet explaining it and giving construction tips, guidelines, and insights. A 10 Minute museum can be built on various materials: custom-built wood casings, repurposed pieces of furniture, or even cardboard boxes housing affordable electronics. We are excited by the potential of diverse groups (science communicators, NGOs, school classes, architects, designers, and artists) creating their own 10 Minute Museums and sharing their results back with us.