Young Consultants – Reflections

Since November 2009 we have been working with an amazing group of young people, known to the Museum as the Young Consultants.


Kway


Elvis


Adelah


Godwin


Will

 

Over the last 18 months these five young people have helped to shape our policies and ways of working with young people across the Museum. They have been involved collectively and individually in innumerable projects, from developing tools for reinterpretation to interviewing freelance educators for our community art project Bus Shelters. They have represented the Museum at a regional and national level and are, in their own words, “the bridge between this museum and the young people of today … and tomorrow”.

Since May of this year the Young Consultants have been working on a strategy to take their involvement in the Museum to the next level. I have had the enormous pleasure of working alongside them, and together we have now outlined a series of aims and objectives that support both the skills development of the Young Consultants themselves, as well as working towards embedding more opportunities for other young people throughout the Museum.

Over the coming months the Young Consultants will be working on multiple projects which aim to;

  • Increase their ‘professional experience’ through networking events, running meetings and speaking at conferences.
  • Work with other museums and young people around London.
  • Work across the Museum’s departments, emphasising the indispensable role young people can play through their skills and creativity.
  • Become involved in core development projects for exhibitions such as Journeys in 2012 and LU150 in 2013.

Young Volunteers – Planning Session 1

Saturday 23rd July was the first official planning session for the young volunteers. The aim over the next 5 weekends is for the young people to plan a series of family activities for visitors, which will be delivered during the final week of the summer holidays (29th August-2nd September). The theme for the activities, as with the rest of the holiday workshops, is tied in with the Museum’s temporary exhibition Sense in the City: smart, connected and on the move. Their work will bring them into further contact with members of the Museum’s learning team, particularly our Family Learning Officer, Steve Moorhouse. Preparations are under way and we will keep posting things up as events unfold!

Collecting for 2013 – Oval Station ‘Thought Of The Day’

Following on from my ‘On Broadway’ post, I looked at a station that’s trying to stop their customers from merely passing through without noticing what’s going on around them.  Oval Station, like a few others on the Underground network, have a ‘Thought Of The Day’ board, where staff write philosophical and interesting quotes for their customers to reflect on first thing in the morning, or in the evening after a long day at the office.

Passengers only have great things to say about the quotes – one customer liked it so much he bought the station a book of famous quotes as a gift, to use as inspiration!

For the 2013 project, I’m going to pop along to Oval Station every day for a few weeks, photographing the board and collecting the images for the Museum. I’m also going to try and interview some of the staff involved about what inspired them to start the project.

Does your local station have a thought of the day board? What do you think about it? Share your own thoughts here!

Collecting for 2013 – On Broadway: A Day in the Life of Tooting Broadway

Every day, millions of us enter our local station, scan our Oyster card, head down the escalator and jump on a train to work. Other than perhaps stopping to pick up a free paper, top up our credit, or check for service updates, most of us will whiz through our stations week after week without stopping to take in what’s going on around us.

As part of the celebrations for London Underground’s 150th anniversary, film maker Geoff Marshall and I decided to spend a day at Tooting Broadway station, from gates opening to close of play, capturing the comings and goings of life at an Underground station. Arriving at 4.40am to get some shots of the station with the gates still closed, we worked six shifts throughout the day, through the morning and evening rush hour, and capturing the last train leaving the stations and the gates being locked for the night. Staff at the station were fantastic, allowing us to access all areas of the station and explaining what was happening when, ensuring we got a real insight into everything that goes on in a normal day on the Tube.

The outcome of our day is a short film, entitled ‘On Broadway: A Day in the Life of Tooting Broadway’. It’s fantastic – Geoff did a wonderful job with the filming and edit, and I merely came up with the cheesy name! The film is to be added to the Museum’s collection and may even go on display at the Museum in the future. But for now we’ll aim to get the video up on here asap so that we can share it with you all! Watch this space…

World city walk update

I arrived at the Museum bright and early this morning to join the wonderful Vicky from Design and Kath from Displayways for the installation of new text panels and graphics in our World city walk gallery. It’s always exciting to see the outcomes of projects we’ve been working on go into the main galleries. I was particularly excited about this one as it has involved contribution from the public, the Museum’s Young Consultants, along with past project participants.

The World city walk enhancements are one part of our extensive Stories of the World programme. Earlier last year we ran a number of focus groups with members of the public to explore the programme’s development. As part of this we asked participants for feedback on the World city walk gallery. Our Young Consultants also reviewed the gallery and came up with a number of ideas for enhancements. In fact, this was one of the first curatorial projects that the Young Consultants were involved in so it’s great that they’ll get to see its completion.

In terms of feedback, people agreed that the gallery was visually impressive, but wanted further information about its key messages. The Young Consultants were keen to emphasise that some of the content going into the Museum’s galleries was developed in partnership with individuals and organisations from London and beyond.

So how did we do this? The World city walk gallery invites people to explore the similarities and differences in transport modes and usage across different world cities, whilst exploring the key message that ‘transport is the lifeblood of the city’. This statement is now one of the first things that visitors will see as they enter the gallery. Along with being printed in English, it has been translated into Japanese, French, Mandarin and Hindu to reflect the languages spoken in the world cities that feature in the galleries. The Museum is very keen to maintain links with people who’ve taken part in our projects and we asked some of our contacts to assist with the translations.

Along with an introductory text panel and prints of the city names that feature, we also have a text panel explaining that some of the content featured in the galleries was co-created with the Museum’s audiences. We’re looking forward to installing a number of outcomes from engagement projects over the next few months.