Letter of support from Hands On!
A Science and Children's Museum Master Planning Group
To whom it may concern:
It is my pleasure to write a letter of support for David Durlach, a most remarkable artist-engineer with whom we have worked many times in the past and hope to continue working well into the future.
Hands On! Inc. is an award-winning, not-for-profit museum master planning and design firm that prides itself on innovative educational philosophies and a willingness to take risks in redefining the museum experience, particularly in the growing fields of science centers and children's museums. We have designed for institutions in Texas, Ohio, California, New Jersey, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Egypt. Our current project is a multi-million-dollar UK Millennium Fund project in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Hands On! has worked with any number of artists and exhibit designers and David's ideas are consistently the most innovative and affecting for the vast and varied public whom we serve. We have worked together for seven years now, developing new experiences and incorporating existing ones into the institutions we design. David's remarkable sense of the interactive potential between science and art is a perfect match with the atmosphere of discovery and inspiration that we try to convey to the museum visitor. His artworks reach out to visitors across a broad spectrum, inviting people to learn through creativity and experience rather than didactic instruction. Based on our prototyping and formal evaluations, visitors of all ages retain far more information about the science presented and have a more fulfilling experience using David's exhibits than any other, more traditional science center exhibit.
What impresses us most about his work is the "social" nature of the experiences. While they are technologically and scientifically advanced, they express that sophistication with an almost childlike wonder that captivates all who encounter them. In the laughter, the conversations and questions, the way one person pulls another over to see and experience, the unforgettable smiles and emotion, we consistently see the success of David's work.
David Durlach is, by far, one of the most dedicated and inventive people with whom we have had the pleasure of working. His devotion to reaching people of all ages, genders and cultures through the integration of science, art and personal experience is rare and welcome indeed. Science centers, children's museums and other informal learning centers are crying out for innovative exhibitry that reaches a broad audience, and David's philosophy and work fit this bill perfectly. It is Hands On!'s greatest wish to continue our collaboration with this talented man, and we wholeheartedly endorse anything done to advance his work.
Sharon L. Rupe
Senior Project Manager
Hands On! Inc.