Prototyping a Monster

Dear whatever my kid keeps staring at on the ceiling. Go away. I want to go back to sleep.

Monsters a are a perpetual part of childhood. They help explain the shadows on the boundary of what is known.

This fall, the Museum of Man will exhibit Monsters! an exhibit dedicated to the monsters in our stories, cultures and bedrooms.

To support one of our favorite cultural institutions Hopscotch Labs worked with Museum staff to develop a prototyping workshop to test their ideas for exhibit interactions.




Over 2 hours, 55 people from diverse backgrounds tested and iterated upon the interaction concepts. Attendees explored storytelling, artifacts, parent and child interactions, and analog and digital interactions amongst others. Ideas ranged from flash-mob Monster Mash dances, to amulets that will protect wearers throughout the exhibit. We went wide with divergent ideas to finally go narrow to converge ideas into salient stories and interactions that carried visitors throughout the Museum’s exhibit.

Kid wakes up, grabs my arm and looks horrified. I ask what’s wrong… She points at the corner of the room with a wide eyed stare. She whispers to me “make him leave mommy. Make the gray man leave”. Totally terrified I pull the mom classic “gray man!!! you will leave by the time I count to ten”. By three she looked relieved.

Like child’s play it is important to lay a strong foundation to insure a happy and productive group. Prototyping experiences requires strict problem definitions; activity and behavior rules to keep people moving forward as a team; and a frame to define their solutions. Providing clear guidance relieves stress on the group and individuals, allowing people to jump in and be creative.

I LOVED this event. I really like the idea of brainstorming as a group and actually creating something.

As with most things, you get what you put in. The more I participated with the group the more I learned. The cog. sci. people offered a lot of insight.