In February 2018, MoDiP collaborated with Senior Lecturer, Cathy John to develop a programme of sessions for first year AUB BA (Hons) Creative Events Management students. The sessions formed part of the Culture and Society unit, which allowed students to spend time exploring at collecting and curation. The MoDiP collection provided an interesting focus as the students looked at artefacts that have become iconic designs, reflect changes in culture, or have had an impact on society.
During the first of two sessions, the students were introduced to MoDiP with an overview of the collections, how to research them online, and how they can book a study session. This was followed by a discussion about collecting and curation that included why people collect and an in-depth look at the MoDiP Collection Development Policy.
The students were presented with three objects from the MoDiP collection:
- A blouse, 1941-1952, (AIBDC : 000824), made of rayon with the utility clothing label CC41 on it.
- A pale blue lidded bowl with translucent lid circa, 1954 – 1969, (AIBDC : 002702) which is part of the Tupperware Millionaire Line Made in Belgium.
- A table lamp designed by Lucas Muñoz, 2015 (AIBDC : 007158). The lamp is made from 50 Bic Cristal pens which hang from a carbon steel structure to which they are fastened with a paper clip.
In small groups, they considered one of these objects in detail, thinking about how it had an impact on society, reflected changes in culture, or became an iconic design. The purpose of this activity was for each group to research the artefact and create a group presentation answering the following question: How would you present the story and value of an artefact in a museum / exhibition?
Students were also asked to consider the following questions in their presentation:
- Why is this artefact important?
- What does it tell us?
- Why should it be collected?
- What histories would you situate the artefact within? ie women’s ‘liberation’, accessible fashion, consumer society.
- In what contexts could this artefact feature? ie For the Blouse: an exhibition about wartime Britain, an exhibition about High Street or accessible fashion, an event about wartime rationing.
- Are there other artefacts similar to your chosen artefact within the MoDiP collection that could support an exhibition or event?
- How would you communicate this artefact’s story? How could you make that come alive?
- What audiences could this event / exhibition / display attract?
During the second session, a week later, the students presented their findings, answered questions from the MoDiP Engagement Officer and were given feedback.
Essay question: Using an object from the MoDiP collection, consider how its design and social context make it relevant for collection and exhibition.