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July 30, 2012

invention invention everywhere!

Since Smithsonian Affiliations started collaborating with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History, we’ve learned a lot about Places of Invention.  (See this blog to learn more about our collaboration.) 

Affiliate staff and their community partners, on the roof of the National Museum of American History during the kickoff workshop for Places of Invention

Affiliates have joined the action too.  On June 15, Affiliate staff and their community partners joined a day-long workshop to kickoff their individual research projects around their own communities and what makes them so innovative.  (Read more about the kickoff workshop on the Lemelson Center’s blog, Bright Ideas.)

Now, we are all much more attuned to what makes a place of invention – be it exceptional natural resources, the right mixture of people and skills, or an inspiring location… or something else.  Invention was readily on view during a recent trip to western Massachusetts, and we suspect, can be documented in many other communities as well.

Join the quest for invention and share your stories with us!

 

February 27, 2012

do you live in a place of invention?

 

The iconic Hewlett-Packard garage in 2009. Courtesy of BrokenSphere/ Wikimedia Commons.

Company labs.  Governmental research centers.  Universities.  These places are where many of us think inventions happen.  But how about garages, coffee shops, parks, or other community gathering spots?!  Invention can happen in all kinds of places.  This idea forms the foundation of the Lemelson Center’s exhibition in development, Places of Invention.  It’s about communities “where people, resources, and spaces have come together to spark inventiveness.”  Does that describe your environment?  If so, consider contributing your story to the Places of Invention exhibition website.

The Lemelson Center team has assembled case studies of historic and contemporary invention hubs – Hartford, CT in the late 1800s; Hollywood, CA in the 1930s-40; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN in the 1950s-60s; Silicon Valley, CA and the Bronx, NY in the 1970s-80s; and Fort Collins, CO today.  Over the course of the next year, the exhibition team will work closely with six Affiliates to create community documentation projects of their places of invention to be featured in the exhibition.  Affiliate partners in this project include: the Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA); American Museum of Science and Energy (Oakridge, TN); Museum of History and Industry (Seattle, WA); Lakeview Museum (Peoria, IL); American Textile History Museum (Lowell, MA); and The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology (Newark, OH).

But we know there are many more stories to be told.  Take the Lemelson Center’s survey or email them at lemcen@si.edu to describe your place of invention and join the conversation!

December 22, 2011

coming up in affiliateland – december 2011 and january 2012

a busy ending to 2011… and full steam ahead into 2012!  

TEXAS:
The
Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts the the National Air and Space Museum’s At the Controls in Dallas, 12/1.

GEORGIA:
The
Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History celebrated its 10th anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate in Kennesaw, 12/3.

COLORADO:
The
Littleton Museum hosts SITES’ 125 Years of Lasting Light: Grand Canyon Photography in Littleton, 12/8.

TENNESSEE:
The
American Museum of Science and Energy hosts SITES’ Earth From Space in Oak Ridge, 12/16.

FLORIDA:
The
Mennello Museum of Art will host SITES’ William H. Johnson: An American Modern in Orlando, 1/6.

MISSISSIPPI:
The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center will present a professional development workshop at the
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, 1/12.

FLORIDA:
The
Orange County Regional History Center will host SITES’ Beyond Baseball: Roberto Clemente in Orlando, 1/21.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA), Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL), National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA), Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX), and the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will participate in a two day meeting to brainstorm ways in which the institutions could work together to foster civic engagement on immigration/migration issues, 1/25-1/26.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
The
Rubin Museum of Art (New York, NY), the Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX), Miami Science Center (Miami, FL), and the California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA)  will participate in planning meeting for a National Symposium on Early Learning, 1/27-28.

CALIFORNIA:
The
Columbia Memorial Space Center will host SITES’ Suited for Space in Downey, 1/28.

 

 

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