Two new workshops

unspecified

Storytelling workshop

I am excited to announce two new workshops that I will be hosting in partnership with the Hong Kong Archives Society.

Hope to see you there!

Share Your Ideas through Storytelling

Overview

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication, from the earliest days it has been used to share ideas, beliefs, culture and heritage. It is a powerful medium of instruction that captures the imagination of the audience and allows them to connect with the past. Today cultural institutions like libraries, archives and museums employ storytelling as an effective means to share their resources and fulfill their mission.

Robert Trio, a museum professional with 20 years of experience, will share his strategies to make storytelling a fundamental component of exhibition and programme planning. By using different storytelling approaches institutions can make their message more meaningful, relevant and entertaining.

All participants are encouraged to bring an ordinary object to the workshop that can serve as jumping off point to how to build an effective story.

Course Details
Course Code : 2016_AM_01
Date : April 9, 2016
Time : 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Venue : Po Leung Kuk Museum, 66 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Course Fee : HK$250
Medium : English
Speaker : Mr. Robert Trio, Museum Consultant

Archives and Museums in the Digital Age

Overview

Museums focus on three core objectives:
preserving their collections, education and exhibition of objects and ideas. Museums in the digital age have been transformed by technology in all three areas. Perhaps the most dramatic area is in the way that they share information
online.

Archives focus on preserving documentary heritage. At present archives are searching for digital solutions to archiving
and how to implement online sharing of resources.

This lecture focuses on practices and ethical issues surrounding digital platforms and how they museums and archives interact with the public.

Themes

  • Definition of a museum and an archives
  • Digital cataloging
  • Digital Asset Management Systems
  • Social Media
  • Intellectual Property Issues

Approaches

  • Discussion – how are museums and archives different from other cultural institutions
  • Exercise – physical cataloging verses digital cataloging
  • Demonstration – How to apply metadata to an object
  • Explore – different social media platforms
  • Discussion – what needs to be considered when addressing IP issues?

 

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Archives and Museum in the Digital Age

Digital Age

I am pleased to announce a training class that I will be leading in August.

It focuses on Archives and Museums in the Digital Age. The course is being offered through the Hong Kong Archives Society.

Here is a brief outline and detailed information:

Overview

Museums focus on three core objectives:
preserving their collections, education and exhibition of objects and ideas. Museums in the digital age have been transformed by technology in all three areas. Perhaps the most dramatic area is in the way that they share information
 online.

Archives focus on preserving documentary heritage. At present archives are searching for digital solutions to archiving
 and how to implement online sharing of resources.

This lecture focuses on practices and ethical issues surrounding digital platforms and how they museums and archives interact with the public.

Themes

  • Definition of a museum and archives
  • Digital cataloging
  • Digital Asset Management Systems
  • Social Media
  • Intellectual Property Issues

Approaches

  • Discussion – how are museums and archives different from other cultural institutions
  • Exercise – physical cataloging verses digital cataloging
  • Demonstration – How to apply metadata to an object
  • Explore – different social media platforms
  • Discussion – what needs to be considered when addressing IP issues?

Course Details

Course Code : 2015_AM_02

Date   :  August  8, 2015

Time   :  2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Venue : 14/F, On Lok Yuen Building, 25-27A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong

Course Fee :  HK$400

Teaching Medium   :   English

Speaker   : Mr. Robert Trio, Museum Consultant

The Hong Kong Archives Society will award a certificate of attendance to participants.
Enquiries : please email to hkaspd@archives.org.hk  or at 5401-7262.

Registration : Please complete the Registration Form (Word) / Registration Form (pdf) email the form(s) to hkaspd@archives.org.hk, and send it to Hong Kong Archives Society, PO Box 8374, General Post Office, Hong Kong together with a cheque made payable to “Hong Kong Archives Society Limited”.

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A traditional style post box in Hong Kong

A traditional style post box in Hong Kong

I am excited to learn that I have been asked by the Hong Kong Archives Society to speak at their annual International Archives Day. This year’s theme is about stories. This is an exciting opportunity for me because I get the chance to share with people one of my Hong Kong passions, traditional post boxes.

I think that the topic is especially apt for the talk because post boxes can be a dull topic. There may be a nostalgic connection that one may feel but does one really think what the larger story is behind these pieces and how they are connected to so many important events in the city’s development and people.

My lecture will be on the 13th of June (Saturday) at the Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage in Sai Ying Pun.

Hope to see you there!

Please check out latest update at Hong Kong Archives Society website

Seminar Registration at Google docs

IAD_2015_postgerE

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May 18, 2015 · 12:35 am

A bundle of joy

Trade and Commerce Gallery

Over 200 boxes in the gallery represent import and export items of the past 150 years.

Exhibitions are like the arrival of a new baby. There may have been months of anxiety and discomfort but once the day arrives, it is hard not to sit back and enjoy the accomplishment. Last Friday a major exhibition entitled Made in Hong Kong – Our City Our Story opened at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. The exhibition was primarily funded through a generous gift by HSBC.

I was pleased to be part of the team that put this show together. I am also pleased to take some credit for spearheading two of the major components of the show, the Science On the Sphere (SOS) multimedia display and the touchscreen displays for the Trade and Commerce Gallery.

The exhibition designer created the framework. The Trade and Commerce Gallery would be filled with hundreds of items representing different import and export commodities and services of the past 150 years. Positioned in specially designed cabinets – the site is a visual feast for the eyes. Second – the SOS would be placed in the center of the gallery. How to tie it all together?

Touchscreens

Each of the sections of the gallery have touchscreen computers that allow that visitor to explore the boxes further.

Although my contributions to the exhibition are bringing multimedia and artifacts together, the key for me in this case is always focus on the story. Without a story, it doesn’t matter how impressive the technology is. Hong Kong’s story is how this small geographic location in Asia became a part of the greater global economy. And not only is it a part, for the past 150 years, it has been a leader.

That’s the story. So all my efforts are to make those connections. Whether it is an ice block that was transported to Hong Kong from New England in the 19th century or Mattel’s Barbie Dolls ® that are shipped through our port all over the world – I put into place a narrative story that brought those desperate things together.

The show will be up for the next six months. I hope you can all visit. I will be handing out cigars in the lobby.

The 360 degree projection surface adds a new level of display for the gallery.

The 360 degree projection surface adds a new level of display for the gallery.

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A Briefs’ History

BH

I was recently asked to contribute to the Royal BC Museum’s Quarterly newsletter, Curious. It was a great opportunity! In particular I would like to thank the editor for all her help and ease of process.

This article is short and fun and is meant to highlight  some of the research I have recently completed for an upcoming exhibition I worked on at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you have any comments.

 

Cite

Robert Trio, “A Briefs’ History, ” Curious Quarterly Journal 001 (2014),

http://curious.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/a-briefs-history/

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Pony Rivalry

HK-classic

 

The only horse I ever owned

In the summer of 1986 I purchased my first car, a 1967 Ford Mustang. It was the beginning a life-long interest with a vehicle that is an American icon and a piece of automotive history. In the 1960’s the Mustang was the leader of a new category of cars known as the Pony Class. The Pony Class spawned a new type of vehicle for people who were looking for style, power and affordability.

HK Classic Car and Vintage Festival

Cars are a passion for me and that is why I was excited to join Hong Kong’s first Annual classic car show, the HK Classic Car and Vintage Festival. This is a three-day event that will be held in October that highlights the best classic cars and motorcycles of the area. The event will also play host to a number of opportunities like talks, vintage fancy dress, family activities, music and food.

The Pony Class

I will be hosting a talk at the festival of the Pony Class of the 1960’s and how it shaped the American car industry. This is a hot topic because even today people feel very strongly about the brand they support. I believe strongly that it was the rivalry between the Mustang, Camaro, the Barracuda, the Challenger and their subsequent Pontiac, Mercury and General Motors spinoffs that made this class great.

I will also be helping to curate an exhibition on classic cars that have shaped Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is not known as a manufacturing site of cars, it is the home of every major dealership including the high-end luxury brands that come out of Italy, Germany and Britain.

Check out the HK Classic Car and Vintage Festival website to find out more about this unique opportunity in Hong Kong.

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Great ideas – Poor project planning

NASA Mars Exploration Rover

NASA Mars Exploration Rover

More and more, I am convinced that good ideas are the main problem behind executing an effective exhibition. All great exhibitions of course start with an idea but too many ideas and too many grand ideas can be the death nail of any project. Let me give you a far out example.

Let’s say – we are planning an expedition to Mars and we want to land a vehicle on its surface for research purposes. Within in a very short amount of time, a roundtable discussion may yield the following questions and possible solutions:

Let’s go to Mars! 

 

 

 

 

How do we slow down the spacecraft?

  • An aeroshell and a parachute decelerate the lander through the Martian atmosphere.

rockets

 

 

 

 

 

How do we handle the impact?

  • Prior to surface impact, retro-rockets are fired to slow the lander´s speed of descent, and airbags are inflated to cushion the lander at surface impact.

bounce

 

 

 

 

 

How do we stop the momentum?

  • After its initial impact, the lander bounces along the Martian surface until it rolls to a stop.

deflate

 

 

 

 

 

Now what?

  • The airbags are then deflated and retracted, and the lander petals and rover egress aids are deployed.

explore

 

 

 

 

 

How do we start exploring?

  • Once the petals have opened, the rover deploys its solar arrays, and places the system in a safe state.

Having a discussion

There are many team players at this point that walk away from the table because their job is now done. Curator “Jones”  has comes up with the brilliant idea of the aeroshell, what else can he do? Now it is up to the execution team to make this idea a reality. It can take one second to think of an idea, a lifetime to achieve it.

Of course planning an exhibition is not the same as a NASA space project. But what the two share in common is project planning. And when sitting at the table to discuss what can be done – it is important to keep core project elements in mind. Be careful not to kill the spontaneous ideas that often bubble up in a creative process. Here are the core elements to keep in mind:

Core project project elements 

What is the scope of the project?

  • Does everybody agree on what the project is meant to achieve?
  • Are there outcomes that can be measured and incorporated into the project?
  • Is there room for scope drift?

What are the resources?

  • This includes human resources and financial resources.
  • Are there hidden costs like administration?
  • Are there free resources like donations or reused equipment?
  • What procurement procedures need to be followed?

What is the timeline?

  • Have you determined the critical path?
  • Are certain elements dependent on others?
  • Are we dealing with a fixed date?
  • Are resources and dates aligned?

Can we quantify quality?

  • Can you identify the refinement of what needs to be achieved?
  • Is your quality requirements aligned with resources?
  • In what areas is quality flexible?

Harness ideas that can be used

This is a general overview but nonetheless a good place to start the conversation. When any one of these core elements is changed – the whole project is changed. When the core elements of project are front and center at the initial discussion, it helps to ground some of the more outrageous ideas. Great ideas can be placed in a parking lot for further discussion but do not let them distract or delay the execution of the project.

Lastly – here is some room for thought. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. I can create a story about a boy who is a wizard, has adventures and attends a wizard school. And that is not a copyright infringement on any well-known author’s works. It is only when I used that author’s words, names and specific plots that I have crossed the line of legality.

Ideas have no value to a project until they are acted upon.

CK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to NASA for its public domain photos.

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July 16, 2014 · 4:03 am