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Biomedicine in museums

The sandpit/sandbox concept — is it compatible with museum 2.0?

I’m receiving an increasing amount of mails, especially from knowledge institutions, research agencies and their ilk, with invitations to participate in sandpits and sandboxes of different kinds.

It strikes me that the ‘sandpit’ (‘sandbox’) is a pretty new concept in my passive vocabulary (haven’t really made it part of my active lexicon yet). One organisation defines a ‘sandpit’ as

an intensive, interactive and free thinking workshop event, where a diverse group of scientists from a range of disciplines get together to immerse themselves in an exciting collaborative thinking process in a creative environment to uncover innovative solutions and prepare research proposals.

When did the ‘sandpit’ (‘sandbox’) concept emerge? Although Wikipedia has its Wikipedia Sandbox, it’s not defined as a separate term for creative organisations yet. Seems like it has spilled over from computer/software design, which has a sandbox concept, to the domain of cultural organisations.

And what’s the difference between a ‘sandpit’ and a ‘workshop’ and other terms for innovative and creative environments? Does the difference lie in the emphasis on the playful dimension? Are sandpits playful events for Homo ludens rather than hard-working Homo faber congregations? Can you really speak about sandpits and workshops in the same sentence, like in the quote above?

Who writes a PhD thesis on the contemporary history of the increasing use of the metaphor of play in innovation and design?

Could a medical museum be turned into a sandbox? Is this compatible with the notion of museum 2.0?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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