Since 1977 the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has been encouraging the world to celebrate International Museum Day.
International Museum Day isn’t there simply to get people to visit their local museum, but also to help us realise how important they are to civilisation and culture. They give us a chance to peer into the past and to see that we’re not so different from our ancestors after all.
But the surprising thing about museums is that the majority of their artefacts are hidden. In fact, in 2010 it was revealed that 99% of the British Museum is not on display.
And that got us thinking: if most of a museum is filed away, how we can turn files into displays?
I believe art is the key. To actually to turn your filing into artifacts. I think the trick is to treat the front and the back of your lever arch files like parts of a canvas, or even tiles in a mosaic.
Let’s think about the mosaic first.
In the video below, from the Royal Ontario Museum, you can see how beautiful mosaics are and how recogniseable features, such as eyes, can be made very simply using squares and rectangles of a solid colour. If you have shelves and shelves of lever arch files in the office, why not take inspiration from Roman art and use them to create your own filing-wall mosaic?
To treat your files as a canvas, use a projector to throw a picture onto your file-wall. Then paint over the image directly onto said files – it’s just tracing, really. Here’s a video in which this technique is used to decorate the side of a building. For step-by-step instructions, see how one man painted his dining room.
The best thing about treating lever arch files as canvases is that you can have different designs on both sides. If you get bored with one look, just flip them over. (Don’t forget you can also use the spines as canvases if you’re pushed for space.)
I’m excited by the idea of businesses around the country filling themselves with art, all by re-imagining how they use their files and folders. Who knows, 10,000 years from now perhaps an archaeologist will stumble across your office and think you must have been very creative indeed.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?