Instead of leafing through a free newspaper on the train yesterday I listened to a podcast. It was Design Matters by Debbie Millman and it got me thinking about more than just the latest cast of I'm a Celebrity, although why Michael Buerk is going in remains a mystery.
Millman is a New York-based writer and branding whizz who runs a company called Sterling Brands, has done for twenty years, and since 2005 she has interviewed over 250 interesting design people for her thoughtful podcast. The great and the good are all on there including the brilliant Maria Popova of Brainpicker, Tina Roth Eisenberg aka Swiss Miss and Ben Schott of Miscellany fame.
I listened to her recent interview with Caroline Baumann who is director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York which opens next month after a $90 million refurb. The new look museum will be interactive and immersive and participatory in a way that we can only hope our new Design Museum in London will be when it opens in 2016.
One of the innovations they've come up with is an interactive pen which will be handed to you on arrival. So instead of snapping photos on your phone, or looking at a museum app, you'll be able to tap the pen on things that interest you and it will store the information. You then take your pen to an interactive table where you can explore, manipulate and even sketch with it. In other words learn about design by designing yourself. Clever.
In short... Americans are good at thinking BIG, podcasts are better than default scrolling through Twitter and I need a trip to NYC.