It feels monumental seeing exhibits in their final moments of assembly. Pencil marks are erased, final touches added, and in a neighbouring display, someone is using a drill to fasten the last few pieces together. Chairs are rearranged, levels put away, and paper scraps swept up. The frantic, excited energy is palpable as placement, colours, and technology is double-checked. When creating an exhibit, students share a part of themselves and display what they are passionate about, and each piece is carefully crafted to fit together. But now it’s time to take a step back, look at the puzzle and invite the community to join them in thought, critique, and in sharing each other’s unique experiences.
Three courses, five exhibits, and hundreds of hours of research and design have amassed to create this moment. As the doors open on KIX 2023 and the Waterloo community is welcomed to be immersed in social justice, sustainable development, and art.
KIX is the Knowledge Integration third-year capstone project. After exploring how people learn, travelling to different museums, and studying intentional design elements, students work in groups to create their own museum displays. “I’m particularly excited this year because there are a lot of interactives. Every year the students exceed the bar of the previous year, [and] I encourage people to come and see [the exhibits],” said KI professor Rob Gorbet.
Each of the exhibits were developed to include text, objects, and activities to engage audiences. While visiting, it’s easy to spend 20 minutes on each exhibit. “Plan some time,” Gorbet said.
The groups developed their exhibits in connection with one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal three (good health and well-being) and goal 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) were the focus across the displays.
At the end of each exhibit visitors are invited to reflect on how they may feel or view things differently after learning more about the topics.
The five exhibits, Activism in Abstract, What’s So Funny?, Following the Money, Change Your Mind, and Keep Your Marbles are available to visit from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 13 through 18 at St. Jerome’s University College gymnasium.
Stop by to learn about art as activism, try out your jokes, test the social media algorithm, break down stigmas, and think about brain health.
Follow @kixuw on Instagram for updates.