Hello! This week has been a strange one in the sense that we have had a lot of waiting, mainly for vinyl! We started the week off with a meeting, finalising designs for the text panels, beginning our iPad video and sorting out other little tasks such as our little passport cards. We had a digital meeting on the Tuesday which our digital manager and other members of the group attended to just double check that we had everything in the right format ready to be printed. This was the case and we decided that, because we did not need to paint anything or really make anything (mainly due to storage), we decided to postpone our Wednesday meeting.
We met on Thursday and outlined a shopping list that we needed to do and final jobs. Our digital manager gave us a first look at our slide show for the Ipad and it looked amazing. The combination of our voices and pictures of the food we love and reminded us of home was exactly what we had imagined. We decided that we wanted to display this information on a digital medium because of the oral aspect. We could have just printed our responses in text and allowed people to read them. However, as someone who has experience listening and writing about oral history, I feel that being able to listen and hear someone describe something that they are passionate about, comes out more strong in that format than in words. Like listening to World War One soldiers’ testimonials, we can hear the emotion behind someone’s voice and feel connected to them more than we would if we had just read their testimonials on text. But the video is coming along well and I am very excited to see the final product.
Friday’s meeting was a stressful one because the vinyl we had ordered had arrived! We could begin measuring the case but it was during this that we realised that we only had enough to cover the inside of the case. This is what myself and a couple of other members of the group had calculated. But other members seemed to have had a different view as to how we were going to use the vinyl on the case. I had written down in notes what we had discussed and it was only ever really covering the inside and doing some strips on the shelves and glass to look like a cupboard; not covering the entire thing. I think next time, when measuring and ordering a product, I will triple check and confirm with my group precisely how we are going to use the product and ensure that it is universal. This will enable everyone to be on the same page and to prevent issues like this arising again.
We managed to buy some more vinyl, of a different colour, which we are going to use on the outside. We decided this would be ok one, because of time constraints, we could not order more, but two because once full, the case and the vinyl inside, will look darker.
In addition to cutting the vinyl for the inside, we began painting some jars to make them look as if they had food in, our digital manager continued to develop our video and deal with technology issues that arose and a sub group went to the shops to buy some items that we needed for the exhibition. These items were not only practical such as brackets, but also decorative that would be our exhibition and case look more like a kitchen, thus enhancing the metaphor and scene we wanted to portray. These items included a kitchen hook and various kitchen implements and some gingham material for a table cloth.
By the end of Friday our exhibition was physically beginning to take shape. For Monday, we agreed to bring in our food packages so that they can be prepped, painted or stuck together ready for display. We will also need to cut the vinyl for the outside of the case and also need to ensure that the video is finished and works on the tablet.
The other task for Monday is printing. We need to print off our passport postcards and interactive sheets ready to be put in the display. Furthermore, we need to print our translated version of our text. We have translated our text into Chinese to allow better accessibility to our exhibition. We chose this language as it is the second most commonly spoken language on our course. We did discuss translating our panels into Italian and Spanish. To allow better accessibility to the community in Leicester, we talked about creating a translation in a language such as Guajarati, however none of my group spoke the language and we were reluctant to use google translate because it is notorious for not being accurate. We have developed these translations because we want our exhibition to be accessible to as many people as possible. Not only to foreign visitors but to disabled visitors too. Our translations are in a suitable font and size which will help those who have a visual impairment. We have not produced a large print English version because we felt that our panels and the text on them were large enough and that if we put this onto paper, the text would be too large and could be patronising. To further our accessibility, we are ensuring that we put up a transcript of what we are saying on our video/ slideshow. This will help those who are hard of hearing but also help visitors who speak English as a second language and so may find just listening to someone talking at a fast pace, difficult to translate. Again, this is all to ensure that everyone will be able to access our exhibition and share in its message. The last point on accessibility is that we discussed wheelchair access to and around our case. We ensured that our interactive was at a suitable height that would allow not only those in wheelchairs, but also children, to take part easily.
So it has been a strange week in the sense that we have had little work but a lot of work. I think this is because a lot of the jobs could not have been done until the vinyl was brought or until the end of the week due to storage issues and having access to equipment. Monday will be a long day but hopefully by the end, we should be in a fantastic place to enable us to install on Tuesday.
I think this week, the main lesson that I have learnt is to confirm things with my group (referring back to the vinyl issue). I also think that I have learnt to think on my feet more. Because in the previous week, we had to rethink our idea, it meant that some jobs got put on hold. We have had to do them this week. I always make a plan of what I want the group to achieve in the week and some things we have done, and others are in process. While I may feel that we are a little behind, I know that we have Monday and my responsibility on Monday is ensuring that my group completes all of these tasks. Being project manager, I have to ensure that we are all relaxed and in a good place for installation by the end of the day.
Thank you for reading!