Inspiring encounters and insightful learning in Beijing, Part 2.
Having participated as a lecturer in the First International Training Workshop on Capacity Building for Science Centers and Museums in Beijing on October 29 th – November 4 th , I asked if the colleagues from the China Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) wanted also to tell how they experienced the workshop.
After learning to know each other during the workshop, I was inspired by the idea of not only reporting myself but also letting their voice heard. Below you can read about the thoughts of the two colleagues from the CSTM exhibition department: Mr. Wei Fei and Ms. Ruiting Lee.
Who are you and why did you participate this workshop?
I am Wei Fei, an exhibit designing engineer of China Science and Technology Museum (CSTM). During my 8 years of career here, I have met some problems with exhibition development and how to build my team. -WF
I am Ruiting Lee, an exhibition designer working in China Science and Technology Museum (CSTM). I have been engaged in exhibition development for five years. With the gradual understanding of exhibition design, I am facing more and more challenges, especially on the innovation of exhibitions and exhibits as the most challenging problem in my work. - RT
What was your overall experience about the workshop?
Coinciding with a new concept of exhibition and exhibit development and team building I was exploring then, this training workshop just surprised me. In this workshop, I learned advanced and practical methods of exhibition developing and team building. The lecturers are rich in experience and knowledge to share. - WF
During the 7 days’ training, 7 experts from the renowned science and technology museums worldwide shared their valuable experience on exhibition design and management including design process, evaluation methods, theoretical foundation, and so on. These core contents and standards of exhibition development are instructive. In addition, the training courses gathered professionals from science and technology museums domestic and abroad. I hope the communication between teachers and participants will last over time. - RT
What were the main outcomes for you?
I have learnt a universal and practical process of making an entire exhibition. Those ways of brainstorm, cardboard prototypes and big planning sheets really impressed me. I was happy to make so many international friends here, so that we could share our experience and exchange our ideas about exhibition.
Due to the extraordinary arrangements of the organizers, the curriculum is of great value, including brainstorming, exhibition design and exhibit production, which give us opportunities to resources optimization and team strengthen. On one hand, cooperation encourages us to exchange ideas and share our work experience. On the other hand, the competition promotes progress and offers surprises with joy, from which I am enlightened and learned the deficiencies of my work. - RT
What was different from the methods used in Chinese museums?
I learnt a much more different way of making exhibitions. According to my working experience, in the past our discussion section at the beginning of exhibition development was less open and free and we never used brainstorm with white boards and post-it-notes, which are the most intuitive and engaging way to have a discussion in my opinion. I also thought it is awesome to use cardboards and plastic clay to make prototypes. - WF
This extraordinary training experience tells many ways to improve the innovation of exhibition, such as encouraging more people to participate in ideation, gathering team members to have brainstorming, coming up with meticulous and comprehensive work plan, shaping comfortable working environment, providing trial and error space for the curatorial team. - RT
Do you have any suggestions for the future workshops?
I would suggest that the training workshop could arrange more materials like cardboard and clay. Because we were running out of it in the second half of the shop. We had to tear down our favorite prototypes on which we spent a lot of time to get enough material. I also expect that there would be more advanced courses in the next year in some other place. - WF
First of all, we hope that the length of training can be extended, one week is too short for us to communicate with teachers and participants; secondly, the content can be more abundant, and different types of exhibition development courses should be set up, such as how to develop a highly purposeful exhibition, and how to develop an exhibition that can systematically impart scientific knowledge; and at last, the level of curriculum can be clearer. - RT
What does the international collaboration mean to you?
I will be very glad to take part in an exchange program if there would be a chance. When professionals from Finland come to CSTM, I would recommend them to visit our shop for exhibits production which will be upgraded to a more advanced and efficient place to produce new exhibits in a few months. - WF
I hope to have more opportunities to participate in international professional activities, and welcome friends from all over the world to come to CSTM. - RT