The year what was and the year that will be

Sky Mirror by Anish Kapoor a hidden gem in Nottingham. It draws people in and it reflects people back a good way to start the year I think

This time last year, as the days shuffled towards the start of 2011, and then hurried into January, I was full of nervous excitement about the coming year.  I had quit my job and was about to start my PhD.   I had very few expectations for what the year would bring, or what the change from staff to student would mean.   2011 was a time for change and flux for me, so it seems apt that I try to reflect on the year what was.

It is only now that I have realised what I busy year I have had, fuelled by excitement and inspiration and surrounded with passionate, creative, intelligent people. Sometimes I still pinch myself that I work with awesome people: I laugh every day, continually find out new things, and I am always astounded by the wealth of knowledge that surrounds me.  I really do love what I do.

It has been a whirlwind year; my PhD research took a back seat at the beginning, when I was still adjusting to being a student rather than an employed staff member.  But during that time I worked on some brilliant projects including Europeana and QRator.  QRator brought me into the realms of things I never thought I could possibly understand: Science.  Zoology, Spatial Analysis and Programming all had their part to play, and it has been this experience and the brilliant people at CASA and the Grant Museum who have opened my eyes to new ways of thinking.  It is fascinating to see how my ideas have transformed over the past year, and what milestones have influenced my PhD research.  I am now pursuing a different tangent entirely.  One which focuses very heavily on impact. Impact and visitor experience.

I have travelled the world, and met wonderful people who share my passion for museums, technology and all the exciting possibilities they bring. There are too many people, places and projects to mention, but you all know who you are.  Thank you for making 2011 an exuberant mess of brilliance.

And what of this year? Well so far, I’ve fallen down the stairs so I’m a bit battered and bruised. But again it’s a busy one, what with my PhD upgrade, some heavy duty data collection and analysis and the ups and downs of agile project work and user centred design of Social Interpretation with IWM.  It’s going to make for an ambitious, hectic and exciting year. Brace yourselves chaps.

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