Using digital design tools to develop ideas for and to prototype real world museum exhibits is an important aspect of contemporary exhibit design. The Tech museum of innovation in San Jose, California is experimenting with a twist on this by inviting people outside of their exhibit design staff to create exhibits virtually in SL that will be created IRL and exhibited at The Tech.
In The Tech Virtual Museum Workshop, they opened up a design competition and gave in-world classes and workshops to help guide exhibit developers in using SL to realize their ideas. They selected seven winning designs and fabricated the exhibits which have been installed as a first exhibit in The Tech Virtual Test Zone Gallery at the museum in San Jose. Peter Friess, President of the institution, welcomed a group of San Francisco Bay Area museum and education professionals to the opening of the new exhibit at the Tech on June 4, 2008, along with Philip Rosedale, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Linden Lab — creators of Second Life and the Second Life Grid. Friess stated that The Tech was committed to using experimental methods such as prototyping and developing exhibits in SL as a way to develop new museum exhibits and that sharing information and practices about the approach with other museums and interactive developers was an important part of the museum’s process.
Visit The Tech virtual on The Tech island in SL