Please Touch

It is no secret that my favourite museum in London is the V&A. I know it is a biggie and very important and I’m all about the small and good (and I’ve found a best of in that category this trip but that’s the next post!), but the V&A has my heart for its design, its breadth, its belief in the everyday and the ordinary and the beautiful and for its mix of art, history, science, culture and life in really fascinating ways.

I have too many museums and not enough time in London this trip so I just headed for my favourite part of the V&A – English interior design (that’s not the term they use though). The bit where I can see some William Morris and Charles Rennie Macintosh up close. I was so happy to see some great museum design just in that one section, that I ended up looking at how they’d incorporated interactivity and reflection in clever ways more than the collection. This will be another big photographic post, but you need to see these things!

Research computers - with chairs - in a foyer area

Research computers - with chairs - in a foyer area

Activity box - dress an Edwardian man

'Glass' blocks to build a Crystal Palace with

What is it display – answers in cupboards on the side
Answers for what is it display – the writing is reversed, you have to read it in the mirror!
Child and adult height stereoscopes
Design your own bookplate on touch screens
Dress ups!
More dress ups!
Really impressive, detailed information about the famous painting of the opening of the Crystal Palace using a touchscreen computer
Seats! I love it when I find seats in museums. There were also books for reading here too.

A 'please touch' exhibit with braille on a slide out panel

A catalogue from the era showing popular designs - another 'please touch'

catalogue from the era showing popular designs - another 'please touch'

Q&A 'booklets' (made from metal) for each item in the case

'Are you a collector?' Audience response station with a closed feedback loop!

'Are you a collector?' Audience response station with a closed feedback loop!

Close up of the instructions, pad, pencils and post box.

Close up of the instructions, pad, pencils and post box.

'Please touch' exhibits with braille on the yellow slide out panels

'Please touch' exhibits with braille on the yellow slide out panels

A quite sophisticated task called 'Date a design' where you have to try to work out what designs below to which era

Research station with books, 'please touch' exhibit, date a design computer and chairs!

Wonderful bench audio stations. Sit and listen - so civilised!

Wonderful bench audio stations. Sit and listen - so civilised!

Slide out drawers with advertising posters - access to an original but fragile collection

Types of materials represented in the surrounding display cases – ‘please touch’ and braille again

I know many of these sorts of ‘stations’ you will have seen before, perhaps even worked on, but I took all these shots in one tiny section of this huge museum and that is what makes it so amazing. The variety of interactive tasks and experiences just in one small area was really impressive. The V&A is still my favourite museum but tune in a few days to find out what my new favourite small museum is!

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Comments
One Response to “Please Touch”
  1. Katrina says:

    Ummm, just like to point out the CRM was SCOTTISH and not English … That is all.

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