Aaron talks about The Pen — a tool available to visitors of the Cooper Hewitt Museum that allows users to “collect” objects digitally and create designs based on digitized objects in the collection — as a way to open a conversation about cultural heritage institutions’ relation to data collection and preservation and about the possibilities of the archive. What kinds of data and intellectual property should museums be collecting? What happens when digital technology makes it possible to collect and store museum visitors’ data?
Aaron Straup Cope is currently Editor at Large and the creator of the Who’s On First project at Mapzen. Between 2012 and 2015 he was Head of Engineering at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, responsible for the architecture, implementation and general table-pounding of the museum’s digital infrastructure as well as the creation and delivery of The Pen.
Before all of that, Aaron was Senior Engineer at Flickr focusing on all things geo, machinetag and galleries related between 2004 and 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he was Design Technologist and Director of Inappropriate Project Names at Stamen Design, where he created the prettymaps and map=yes projects.
Data & Society’s “Databites” speaker series presents timely conversations about the purpose and power of technology, bridging our interdisciplinary research with broader public conversations about the societal implications of data and automation.