The School of Design, George Brown College, is proud to host ‘Key to Type’, an exhibition exploring the development of the contemporary keyboard that draws upon selections from the Martin Howard and Buxton-Microsoft Collections, curated by Martin Howard and Bill Buxton.
The exhibition explores the history of the modern keyboard, through the initial introduction of a new typewriting machine, the subsequent development into more contemporary typing-aids, and the final approach to today’s touch screen technology. Featured are 40 vintage and antique objects from the 1880s through to the 1990s, each representing a significant innovation in the development of the keyboard. The exhibition layers in further opportunities for exploration with demonstration videos by the collectors, background materials about the objects via an AR (augmented reality) experience and a play station where visitors can test a vintage Remington Junior typewriter and a 1980’s single-handed BAT keyboard.
Throughout Bill Buxton‘s 30-year involvement in research, design, and commentary around human aspects of technology, he has been collecting input and interactive devices whose design struck him as interesting, useful, or important. In the process, he has created a collection that examines the history of pen computing, pointing devices, touch technologies, as well as an illustration of the nature of how new technologies emerge.
Martin Howard has been collecting 19th-century typewriters for thirty years and has built the largest collection of its kind in Canada. Typewriters from the collection have been shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, seen on CBC and featured in the award-winning documentary ‘California Typewriter’.
Exhibition Design: Sisley Leung, Caitlin Plewes
Interactive & Video Design: Lei Nie, Babour Zainullah