In recent years, a variety of forces (economic, environmental, and social) have quickly given rise to “shared mobility,” a collective of entrepreneurs and consumers leveraging technology to share transportation resources, save money, and generate capital. Bikesharing services, such as BCycle, and business-to-consumer carsharing services, such as Zipcar, have become part of a sociodemographic trend that has pushed shared mobility from the fringe to the mainstream. The role of shared mobility in the broader landscape of urban mobility has become a frequent topic of discussion. Shared transportation modes—such as bikesharing, carsharing, ridesharing, ridesourcing/transportation network companies (TNCs), and microtransit—are changing how people travel and are having a transformative effect on smart cities.
Exhibition and Design Prototyping at the Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum seeks to provide an even deeper and more enjoyable visitor experience through prototyping exhibition elements and inviting visitor feedback as part of our exhibition interpretation planning and design process.
Prototyping is a low risk way of experimenting with new design or interpretive elements to make sure they will work and achieve their intended outcomes. The process will help us develop exhibition content and designs based on visitor feedback that include community voices.
Prototyping is innovative within the art museum world. Due to the high polish and perfection sought in traditional art museums and compressed exhibition timelines, low fidelity mock ups are rarely employed in public galleries.
Last summer, we mocked up an interactive element to coincide with the Gorgeous special exhibition. The activity invited visitors to make their own meanings about the artworks through a “curate-your-own-exhibition” activity. Based on our observations of visitors and other staff using the mock up, we simplified the language of the invitation and made it more open-ended.
In another instance, staff spent a morning in three different galleries to brainstorm new ways of interpreting the artworks there. Using post-it notes, butcher paper, tablet computers, and photo print-outs we mocked up some ideas. That afternoon, we talked with visitors to get their feedback on the concepts in order to test our own assumptions and see if our ideas resonated with visitors. Some of these ideas may be used in future changes to our gallery spaces.
Thanks to funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Mellon Foundation, the staff members at the Asian Art Museum are reaching out to colleagues at other museums across the country that have implemented prototyping to customize a process that will work in our context and provide room for growth and new ideas.
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Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
A study by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 2008 found that the impact of routine weather events on the US economy equates annually to about 3.4% of the country’s GDP (about $485 billion). This excludes the impact of extreme weather events that cause damage and disruption – after all, even “ordinary” weather affects supply of and demand for many items, and the propensity of businesses and consumers to buy them. NCAR found that mining and agriculture are particularly sensitive to weather influences, with utilities and retail not far behind.
Many of these, disaster management included, are the focus of smart city innovations. Not surprisingly, therefore, as they seek to improve and optimize these systems, smart cities are beginning to understand the connection between weather and many of their goals. A number of vendors (for example, IBM, Schneider Electric, and others) now offer weather data-driven services focused specifically on smart city interests.
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