Friday, November 15, 2013

Chipstone's Object Lab Examination Methodology

Or A Better Way to Look at Stuff

I thought these videos were interesting. Watch to see students dialogue as they examine historic furniture. It’s instructive to hear these students (under a scholar’s tutelage) thinking out loud as they sleuth period pieces. The Chipstone Foundation’s facebook page explains, “Object Lab is a material studies program organized and funded by the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee for third and fourth year undergraduate students. It exposes participants to new and diverse means of interacting with, studying and analyzing objects.”

The videos are an example of intense object study. They get to have up close and personal examination of the objects to be able to develop an interpretation. The five steps of the Object Lesson are:

Step One: Basic Description and Initial Observations
Step Two: Description of Physical Qualities (Appearance and Construction)
Step Three: Investigation and Associative Qualities (Historical and Metaphorical)
Step Four: Classifying and Arranging (Using other objects for Comparison)
Step Five: Synthesis and Interpretation

There's a blog post about one year's workshop here. Pretty cool stuff.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to go back in time and visit the shops where these pieces were made and meet the craftsmen who built them. Learn about their lives and how much they were paid for their work. I think modern furniture makers are under great strain to make money, so pieces need to be turned out as quickly as possible. But so much is lost when something is rushed. The greatest luxury is to work at a relaxed pace and not worry about the money.