The Digital Maker Club - Ulster Museum

Witten by Lucia Cerda

My name is Lucia Cerda, I’m a 23 year old graphic designer and I participated in the Digital Maker Club, a free eight week long project ran by The Nerve Centre and National Museums NI to encourage people aged between 16 and 25 year olds to engage with the museum by the means of technology.

Each Saturday, a group of us, all from different academic backgrounds and ages, met at Ulster Museum from 12pm to 3pm and were introduced to different types of technology, such as Virtual Reality, 3D printing, 3D scanning, Laser Cutting & Vinyl Printing. Throughout the first weeks, we had the opportunity to come up with a logo for the Reimagine, Remake, Replay project, with the help of motion graphics agency Whitenoise, which gave us all a chance to put our input in a logo that could represent us all. Right from the beginning, we were very hands on with the machines and had to think of different ways to introduce the museum’s collections with the technology in order to make it more engaging. For example, we each created vinyls and wood carvings from different objects and exhibitions which we photographed ourselves, learning the software used to create these.

One of my favourite weeks was the Virtual Reality and 3D scanning one, as many of us had no background in this type of tech, so we were very eager to learn and start creating. We scanned objects from the museum’s unique collections and we created a virtual gallery for the museum which could be used with Google Cardboard and our phones which was pretty awesome.

A popular opinion was that we were all sad when it finished, as we all would have liked to develop some of the projects we were working on and feel like there is so much more to be learnt. I would highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in both museums and technology.

I’d like to thank The Nerve Centre, National Museums NI and Ulster Museum for giving us this opportunity and I really hope it gets done again and keeps encouraging more young people to take part in the project.

Image: Reimagine, remake, replay logo designed by the young people
Reimagine, remake, replay logo designed by the young people
Image: The digital makers working in the Elements gallery
The digital makers working in the Elements gallery
Image: Some of the makers
Some of the makers
Image: Virtual gallery created by one of the makers
Virtual gallery created by one of the makers

Some quotes by the young people.

“I really enjoyed this programme, and I would 100% do it again. I really enjoyed the VR and 3D scanning, I loved seeing the objects come to life with the 3D printer. I really hope this gets done again, and honestly if it does, I would love for it to go on for longer, so we can create more stuff and develop the projects we’ve been working on” - Connor

“The great thing about this project was the easy accessibility to all this tech that none of us had had access to before, we actually got to learn, experiment and create with it at the same time as meeting interesting new people.” - Lucia

“I really enjoyed getting hands on with all the artefacts we were allowed to use within the museum being able to use the 3D scanning to be able to make 3D prints of them, I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in this stuff and I’d definitely do it again. If I could change one thing about it, I would make it slightly longer because eight weeks wasn’t enough and it ended too soon, I don’t know what I’ll do for the next couple of months until it starts again”- Jack