Well, I enjoyed it.
The audience was mostly RISD Museum staff – not much of a surprise, given the topic. Interesting to them, less so to the general museum-visiting public.
My two hours was mostly conversation. I had imagined actually doing serious work on my visualizing project. Instead, it was more like showing colleagues a really neat new tool I was playing with that might be useful to them. That’s one of my favorite things, and I think that the RISD Museum folks enjoyed it.
Not only fun, but useful. The conversation with knowledgeable and interested colleagues offered an opportunity to think through my project, to explain why I thought it was worthwhile, to see where it needs work. They asked great questions and gave some excellent suggestions. (Museum web designers and visualizers: check out this NYT fashion visualization!)
And so: it did live up to the “office hours” idea, in the best way. Office hours as in the kind of great conversation that colleagues working on similar projects share in an office. Just that this office was a museum program, and museum visitors could wander in and join us. Which made it even better.
Perhaps the RISD Museum should make this permanent. “One Room” succeeds in its admirable goal of introducing “artists, designers, experts, and brainiacs” to each other and the general public. Now we just need a place to continue the conversation.