Volunteering for Derby Museums – first impressions.

Derby Museums Mascot stickers

So a brief conversation on twitter about Aves, the music @DMNature gallery had commissioned for their natural history spaced turned into a fully fledged volunteer opportunity working within the co-production team. My main contact is Andrea Hadley-Johnson, the Co-Production Manager who is an amazing arts and culture professional who was the Head of Display at habitat in a former life. I’ve met a lot of the volunteers who assisted with the redevelopment of the nature gallery, as well as the larger co-production team who work on everything from audience engagement, which features a huge amount of data, through to technical support creating, building and maintaining the exhibits themselves.

I’ve already made a good start on the video I mentioned in my original tweet ( more news here later) and will be assisting with a prototyping exercise for MA students visiting from Nottingham Trent University on the 17th November, next week. That has been fun to prepare for, including collecting junk and creating a creative and unusual ratings system for the students to reflect on what we have asked them to do, using leftover mascot voting stickers.

On the day, I’m going to be hanging about in the background, recording the student’s activities and communication. This will be included in an activity toolkit to supplement the Human Centred Design Handbook the museum has already made.

In the coming few weeks I’m hoping to get involved in some of the new ceramics gallery project labs and also learn some of the theory behind co-production from working with Jane Hardstaff.

If there’s any specific projects I get involved in like the prototyping exercise I will post about them here.

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