2017 Action Project – Everyone’s Artifacts – The concept of the open source museum

Team

Amr Seda, Bryan Griffin

The Challenge:

Making a catalogue of museum-quality artifact replicas available at home via

3-D printing, at an affordable cost to as many people as possible. Purchasing these artifacts is presently only limited to a small percentage of wealthy people. Our main challenge is to make it accessible and easily obtained by anyone who is interested in this kind of art.

Project Overview:

This project will work with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New

York City (the Met) and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to scan and digitize three artifacts from each museum’s collection.

The six

This project will work with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (the artifacts will be made available online to be downloaded and printed by the public worldwide.

Met) and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to scan and digitize three artifacts from each museum’s collection. The six artifacts will be made available online to be downloaded and printed by the public worldwide.

The Goal

The goal is to encourage museums to scan and digitize artifacts from their collections and upload them to the internet. It is our hopes that the initial catalogue of six will be positively received by  The goal is to encourage museums to scan and digitize artifacts from their collections and upload them to  the public and printed many times. If enough public attention and support are given to the initial the internet. It is our hope that the initial catalogue of six will be positively received by the public and printed online catalogue, other museums will follow suit and add to the online collection. Often if enough public attention and support are given to the initial online catalogue, other museums will follow suit and add to the online collection.

Population Served

This project brings exact, one-of-a-kind artifact replicas into the hands of people with low to middle socioeconomic means around the world. The project will also serve the museums that upload artifacts by building public interest in their collection and advertising in-person visits of the museums that participate.

Project Milestones

Phase 1: Outsource a professional, high-end 3D scanner and scan the artifacts

Phase 2: Make the scanned files available online through the East-West: the Art of Dialogue website, for free, to be downloaded and printed by the public.

Phase 3: Accrue partners in Egypt with 3-D printing capabilities (libraries, schools, AUC, etc.) that can make print-outs available to people who do not otherwise have access to a 3-D printer at low cost

Phase 4: Encourage other high-profile museums (not limited to Egypt and America) to add artifact scans to the online catalogue

Expected Outcome

We expect that the Met and Egyptian museums will show interest in sharing a portion of their collections with the world in this highly accessible format.

When the catalogue is successfully online, we expect wide public interest. The first museum-quality artifact to be scanned and digitized in this way was the Bust of Nefertiti of the Berlin Museum in October 2015.  Within a day of uploading the bust, 1,000 people had downloaded and re-uploaded the scan. We expect the six pieces uploaded through our project to “go viral” as well.

After public interest in 3D printing artifacts has been amassed, we expect other museums to show interest in uploading some of their collection. We will facilitate and share as many of the scans as possible.

Furthering the Foundation’s Mission

Art is a dialogue in itself: the artist is conveying to the viewer a message of his or her choosing. From behind a glass case in a museum, only part of that message can be delivered. However, with the ability to hold a  perfect artifact replica in one’s own hands —printed from one’s own home— complete with each and every  blemish of the original, that conversation takes a more personal shape. We hope to encourage this dialogue, at first, between Egyptians and Americans by sharing iconically Egyptian and American artifacts. Eventually, however, we want the Foundation to be a flagship for exploring and promoting the benefits that 3D printing technology can bring the world—including bringing one-of-a-kind artifacts to anyone with a printer and an interest.

The applications for the 2022 Gabr Fellowship are now closed.