Robin Good: Tim Wray explores the new frontiers of curated collections (from a museum perspective), and in doing so, he analyzes the concept of "landscapes", a possible emerging metaphor for how large sets of relevant information items could be better organized for viewing, even outside the specific museum setting.
His goal in doing this is one of finding out how to build effective interfaces that reveal and unravel narratives within collections. How can that be designed into the collection?
Tim Wray is particularly interested in this research, because he is also the brain behind a new and upcoming app called A Place for Art, and which has likely lots to do with art exploration and discovery.
The key point he makes in this interesting article (part of a longer series) is the illustration of the two concepts of "containers" and "landscapes", and about how they closely relate to the organization and access of curated collections.
In Tim Wray's view, the future, especially when we look at large collections, is in the increased adoption of "landscapes" organizing approaches versus the ever-present "container" approach we use for most collections today.
He writes: "I hint at the necessary shift from the former to the latter as a mechanism for providing context for objects, and how landscapes – combined with engaging interaction designs and the notion of pliability – can used as a way of providing immersive experiences for museum collections."
I think that Tim's ideas reflect a growing critical issue for anyone who attempts to curate large collections of information items: having an organization and navigation system that helps the newcomer, find and discover what it may interest him the most.
I myself feel quite frustrated by the absence of curation tools that truly allow me to organize and make accessible / discoverable large lists of information items in more effectives ways than the typical list, table or grid.
But I am positive that the future of curation will inevitably revolve around those who will find, invent and design new and effective ways to do so.
P.S.: Tim Wray is a PhD student that looks at how computational methods and interaction design can be used to create beautiful, engaging experiences for museum collections.
Very Interesting. Must-read for app designers. 9/10