How do you summarize thousands of objects, and millions of stories into 50 words?
This is the struggle modern museums face while adapting to the phenomena of the digital age. Minimizing word usage while increasing content, creating a clear and concise message that speaks volumes while barely speaking at all. The importance of clarity is driven by the element of time, and the competition for attention. Finding the right words to say can be the difference between staying or leaving. Between entrancing and boring.
Finding the right words to say can spark the fire of exploration or drown you in the waters of inaccessibility on one and inundation on the other.
The National Air and Space Museum turned their museum into 100 terms, and is looking to trim that count down to 50. The National Museum of African American History and Culture strives for 75 words or less to accompany their objects on exhibit. The National Museum of the American Indian strategizes by thinking of an exhibit without words and building from that point to incorporate the right words to tell their story.
Is 50, 75, 100, or even 150 words enough? Can a story be told without words? Can it be told through emotions evoked and visuals viewed?
Can a museum grab your attention with bold conciseness and encourage deeper delving into a script behind the word?
That’s the new model. The new test that can only be graded through trials and time.