It all started with the Dada movement and Marcel Duchamp putting everyday objects with a unique twist in a museum. With this, he started a revolutionary development in the plastic arts. Nowadays, we are witnessing the revolutionary development in the printing arts. But before an object can be 3-D printed, it must first be invented.
Barcelona has a lot of museums, from famous ones to smaller, less discovered ones. One of the latter being MIBA: Museum of Ideas and Inventions located on Carrer Ciutat 7. If you use the glide, you reach the basement where inventors create unexpected objects. The museum is split into different small areas: discovering area, corner of the absurd, prototypes and fun-ventions.
Each invention starts with a drawing of an idea. If you give that idea a chance, you might end up earning money with it. MIBA showcases different objects along this road. Some succeeded to reach out to the world, while others can only be found in the museum. Take for instance the Biscuit Mug, responding to the trend of multi-purpose and multi-functionality. I might use that. Or what about The Smile Plate that has an incorporated mirror so you will never have that lettuce between your teeth without noticing it. Hard to get out of bed in the morning? Perhaps the exhibited jumping alarm clock can help you, since you have to chase him through the room to shut it off.
A question that comes to mind when looking at the different exhibits is the necessity. A crucial element when talking about innovation: is the invention useful and does it solve a problem? Otherwise, it stays art for art sake, which is a completely different purpose of existence. Nonetheless, it is good to have a look at those that didn’t succeed. We don’t only learn from best practices, perhaps we learn even more from our failures. These inventions can be a good reference point and make you think, what is lacking? How could it be better?
The MIBA is also a wonderful place to shine a spotlight on the talent in Barcelona. This is where all 3D invented objects of e.g. MOB can find exposure. It could become a place where the local community could interact with tourists and spread their ideas worldwide. An additional benefit, tourists are on holiday and have a relaxing mindset. Hence, I would plea for the MIBA to transform a part of their venue into an experimentation site, where real time feedback and interaction are encouraged.
Speaking of invention and innovation, the MIBA is currently not riding the waves of the digital era. MIBA might consider collaborating with or learning from the World Mobile Congress, where there is a permanent exhibition with 3D screens and layer applications about different inventions and designs. There is a lot to win if they would be able to alter more interaction and create a real invention experience. Since in current epoch, we go for the experience and not the product per se. What about: visit MIBA and unravel the secret of invention. Give it your own shot!
Some say everything has already been invented in some way or another, but walking through MIBA you are pleasantly inspired about the diversity of inventions. And I believe, there is still much left to invent. The exponents will trigger curiosity, MIBA can provide tools for creativity, and then anyone with a problem solving mind can come up with a (great) invention. Wouldn’t it be amazing if visitors could tell their friends that their invention is displayed in a museum? Note, that it will only be for a certain period (you want to amaze the audience with new creations and not all inventions will be interesting enough). In that period your invention should convince other visitors of its necessity and functionality. MIBA encourages visitors to take pictures and this means easy sharing on different social media leading to bigger exposure. Or you might even seduce the visitors to start investing in your design by crowd-funding; giving it a chance to get further developed either by the museum, by MOB or a business developer. Probably one way or another, you will stay engaged with your own invention and be lifelong ambassador for it. Another outcome, it will create a new business model for MIBA, making it easier for this cultural institution to sustain and perhaps even expand. To kick start this experience, the MIBA might invite some famous people to let them experience inventions. I believe there is a big potential and MIBA can make people feel and experience the future innovations made in Barcelona.
When you finished your visit to the MIBA, don’t forget to go to the loo. There will be a surprise for you.