I guess there are three main reasons I’m coming.
1) I saw the announcement and said, “Holy @&%! This is just the kind of learning experience I’ve been looking for!” I believe that, as professionals, we are responsible for our own learning. Constructivists say that we create our own meaning from our experiences. Whatever your pedagogical leanings, chances are once you’re working in the field, you will have to take charge of putting yourself in situations where you can learn. That could be reading books, writing, reflecting, sharing what you’ve learned. This workshop seems like a great experience to throw one’s self into! Being able to step out of the workaday realities of getting work funded and finished sounds like heaven. Or, as my lovely and talented wife said, “You’d be an ass to pass this up, dear.”
2) Creativity and collaboration come up over and over again in our internal discussions of what we want to encourage our visitors to explore. We also realize that we don’t do a good enough job of providing it. They also are harder to fit into the “we must fit in with the formal ed. curricula and frameworks” mindset that drives a lot of what we do. I’m hoping that I can absorb some new ways of looking at the creative process as we practice it and take home some new ways to look at how we develop exhibits and maybe make different ones.
3) I think that we as a profession tend to be too insular in where we look for inspiration. I worked with lots of folks from Lucasfilm and ILM on our Star Wars exhibition, and it was stunning to see how similar our creative processes were.
We also worked with Pixar on a concept for an exhibit on creativity and collaboration (Does that topic sound familiar?) that further strengthened my belief that we had a lot to learn from other creative industries. I made a bunch of trips to Emeryville to learn Pixar’s creative process and totally drank the Kool-Aid. Improv and sculpting can make you better at whatever creative thing you do. It’s a muscle, so let’s exercise it!