Consulting

  1. Making the Complex Clear & the Dry Lively
  2. Enhancing Communications by Honoring Ideas & Feelings Equally

(This page addresses consulting outside of my normal science/art/education/attraction exhibit work. If you are a museum, aquarium/zoo, nature center, trade-show booth or set designer, architect, etc., please visit TechnoFrolics.)

Overview

Please see my one page Bio. Productive applications of those skills and experiences include:

  1. Translating complex abstract ideas into clear, welcoming, engaging content. "Deliverables" can include text, graphics, video, live presentations and workshop facilitation, etc.
  2. Introducing the personal, directness, and humor, into contexts where such is badly needed, but where involved parties may initially see such elements as essentially irrelevant. (In practice such elements are virtually always key, because each participantis, regardless of focus, age, or expertise, still (typically) a human being.)
  3. Building bridges between diverse groups and departments, where cross communication is critical, but where assumptions and vernacular are so different as to make such communication extremely challenging. Such groups can include: academic/science/engineering, sales/marketing, customers/students/the-lay-public.

    As one element of the above, acting as a real-time "translator and note taker" within meetings, particularly between the technical and the emotional, helping to identify and make explicit differing assumptions and orientations across diverse groups and individuals. Such translation helps each side communicate to the other with maximum clarity, efficiency, and calm. A core element of this activity is listening deeply, and then articulating each person's/team's perspective (in immediate verbal and/or later written form), resulting in participants feeling truly "seen and acknowledged".

Within a given task, I bring to bear elements of:

Artist

Engineer

Teacher

Counseler

Writer

Animator

Humorist

I offer the above not to say "I excel at everything" — there are certainly more skilled practitioners in each of the above specific areas than I.

Rather, at my deepest core I blend the above elements, moving fluidly from one to another as appropriate.

It is in situations where such interdisciplinary integration and flexibility is valuable and valued that I bring the most benefit — and find the most rewarding, energizing, and fun.

Quotes

While I have effectively engaged in the above many times in connection with both TechnoFrolics and my personal life, I am just now, in 2021, starting to offer these services more broadly, tailored to particular client needs. I realize that most projects in this vein will be gotten by word-of-mouth, and that this page is unlikely by itself to be sufficient. That said, perhaps the below quotes and endorsements from my decades of work within the public and educational sector will convey some of the spirit of what I offer. (Note that these quotes span decades of work, so ideas that were visionary at the time they were presented, are now in many instances much more common place. But of course that means I was correct... :-)

  • Sharon L. Rupe Senior Project Manager, Hands On! Inc., Museum Master Planning Group "Hands On! has worked with any number of artists and exhibit designers and David's ideas are consistently the most innovative and affecting for the vast and varied public whom we serve. ...

    David's remarkable sense of the interactive potential between science and art is a perfect match with the atmosphere of discovery and inspiration that we try to convey to the museum visitor.  ...

    What impresses us most about his work is the "social" nature of the experiences. While they are technologically and scientifically advanced, they express that sophistication with an almost childlike wonder that captivates all who encounter them. In the laughter, the conversations and questions, the way one person pulls another over to see and experience, the unforgettable smiles and emotion, we consistently see the success of David's work. ...

    David Durlach is, by far, one of the most dedicated and inventive people with whom we have had the pleasure of working. His devotion to reaching people of all ages, genders and cultures through the integration of science, art and personal experience is rare and welcome indeed."

  • Rosalind W. Picard, Professor, MIT Media Lab "[David's talk] attracted one of the largest crowds we have ever had at our colloquia. . . .I have never heard so many positive remarks afterward -- remarks from students and staff such as "That was the greatest talk we've ever had.
  • Woodie Flowers— Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT "... In my view, TechnoFrolics' broad mission to make the public aware of "affectionate" and artistic uses of technology, through both physical creations and related lectures, functions as an important countering force to many peoples' tendency to view technology as (necessarily) "inhuman", "emotionally cold", and "anti-nature". I strongly encourage granting organizations and other institutions, in both the sciences and the arts, to continue supporting David Durlach and TechnoFrolics, for I feel their work is unique, of high quality, and important for students and the public to experience."
  • Kenneth Kaplan, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design "David is brilliant in terms of uniting broad concepts of new technologies and the public's misapprehension of their uses. He combines an unusual strain of wit with great passion to communicate his powerful and rare vision -- that of technology being used to improve human relations. He is an artist with a comic sense and a great understanding of the future of society and technology."

Early Stage 2021 Case Study #1

(Created spontaneously, as "proof-of-concept". Focuses on technical competence, capability of independent work, and clear thinking and writing. Does not include graphic elements or playfulness - for an example of that, created using After Affects, please email <david2021 (@) daviddurlach (dot) com>.)

  • Emulate.Energy: "Virtual Battery" Explanation

    Emulate.Energy co-founder Shwan Lamei "I absolutely love it ... once we start commercializing things and need to start educating residents something like this would be super helpful." 

  •  


Context matters