Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

22 Apr 2013, 20:39 p.m.

Naming Opportunities

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2013 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

"Additional naming opportunities within the Museum are also available."

Things to name include:

  • An individual flavor of cupcake in the museum café (would you like chocolate, vanilla, or Leonard Richardson Memorial Strawberry?)
  • A stair step
  • The donation box
  • A security camera
  • The ceiling (the plaque would have to be huge!)
  • A coathanger in the coatroom
  • A paper-towel dispenser in the restroom
  • A mannequin in the costume exhibit
  • One of the stanchions in the ticket line
  • The Asteroids machine
  • An exit sign


23 Apr 2013, 0:01 a.m.

Exit sign! But no Leonard or Sumana "Memorial" anythings, please.

24 Apr 2013, 12:39 p.m.

I know this was a joke, but I actually like it as an idea -- maybe a museum exhibit/project all itself. We often don't think about how many little things need to come together to make something like a museum (and how much time/effort/$ they take) -- and seeing these sorts of "this is how this person made a concrete difference, because someone has to get the lightbulb hanging above this sculpture so you can see it properly" might make us think a little differently about the learning environments we often take for granted. Also, isn't there literature on how people are incentivized to do/donate more when they can see a direct, precise impact ("you helped Mary go to school" vs "you helped girls go to school")?

Yeah, there's a side of this that's super silly/trivial. But I think there's also something behind a more "view source" view of the world that would... not be a bad idea to expose more often.