Note: I’ll be posting more about the Eureka Room move for the next few weeks, then it will be back to posts as usual. I’m doing this so that I can have a record of what I was thinking and feeling as I go through the process. Memory is a faulty recorder filled with bias. So rather than wait until the move is over to document everything, I thought I would do it as I go along. As a result, these posts won’t be edited as well as my others. At some future date I hope to collect these thoughts and get them into a more useful format that other IRL experience designers can learn from.
I got the keys to the new location last week. That was a huge milestone. I have been surprised just how much anxiety this has produced in me. But you never know what it’s like to be in the arena until you are in the arena. As a result, I’ve had to crack open some books I haven’t read in a while to help me make this transition. There is nothing like a book to help you. Audiobooks, podcasts, blog posts, websites – none of these are as good as books. (Winners read books. Losers look for “hacks” on the internet. But that is a whole other topic).
My first realization was that I might need to buy a second of everything I had at home. Example: I was at the space and needed toilet paper. There was none. So I decided to go home (10 min). On Saturday I had a showing and was setting up my house for it. The battery was dead in the laptop that I use for the waiting room. I looked for the charger. Ugh. It was left at the space. Thirty minutes later I was back with my charger. Other things I needed during the week that didn’t have at the space: tape, scissors, a cup. Ugh.
To mitigate this I will do the following. First I will imagine my whole day at home, walking around my house and I will write down all the things I use. Second, I will buy a big bag that I can put the stuff that goes back in forth. Third, I will determine what goes in the bag and what will need to be purchased.
Another thing on my mind is the decision how much to upgrade things during the move. I imagine this is a question most business have when moving to a new location. For me, the decisions are:
- Do I make the front wall – which is currently 4 feet of screen and 4 feet of wall – taller? I could make it 6′ of screen and 2′ of wall. But that has repercussions and I’m not sure I’ve thought them all through. How is it constructed? How long will it take to get the new projector screen? What does it mean for the programs? How much work will it take to extend them? Is just extending them enough or will things need more thought through? Currently everyone can see the front screen because it is high. If I make video on the lower part will people in the back feel like they are missing out?
- I’m extending the room an extra 4′. That means more LEDS (and everything else). The plan was to build the frame out for the extension. Then in July or August I would work in the new LEDs, in the meantime I would curtain over the extra length so people didn’t get all “aw dang” on me about it. Do I do this all with the move in? Is this introducing too many variables at once? Can I even get the parts fast enough to do it in the next couple weeks?
- The all-projector solution. The future of the Eureka Room will not be LEDs. It will be projectors. I could, in theory, build an all projector solution right now and skip the LEDs. However I think that that is too big a risk. I’m not sure how to construct that and I don’t know if the projectors will look as cool as the LEDs. The projector ER will be prototyped in the next version, in the second room.
More Observations of This Experience
I had a list of everything that I thought I would need to do. I really, really thought about this list and it was a good list. Despite that, as soon as I got the keys I realized there were more details: change the locks; figure out my trash service situation (this is more complicated than I thought); wait all day for the gas service to show up in their EIGHT HOUR window; wait two hours for Spectrum to show up and hook up service; lay down some ram board; co-ordinate the internet install before the security system install before moving anything of value in; get the immediate needs in there on day one: tables, chairs, trash cans and recycling bins, towels, toilet paper, tape, a few tools, curtains for security, a ladder, perhaps even a power strip.
I think I will also need a couch. I was feeling tired and needed a nap and it’s hard to nap in a plastic chair.