Opening Museums – New Interaction methods for future museum experiences
We approach the theme of “opening museums” from a point of view where digital technologies can be used as tools to facilitate vistor-museum and visitor-visitor interaction. We look at “interaction”, as in how to encourage visitors to become interactive participants, following the theory that human communication is based on dialog and exchange. On the other hand we also refer to interactive technologies and suggest how museum visitors as users can intervene in computing processes through various interfaces. Our objective is to reflects on how attitudes in museums are changing, how visitor expectations are changing and how we as designers and artist, considering both opportunities and challenges of digital technologies, can design visitor experiences for museums with open attitudes.
Publication: Opening musems:View Fullscreen
In this this book we acknowledge that the role of museums are changing, we address visitors as participants rather than passive consumers and recognize that a manifold of visitors need diverse approaches to engage with museums. A selection of projects is presented in this book adapting ideas that emerged during our research and in a “Opening Museums”-workshop. In addition we present examples of how related projects have been realized by others in various museum environments to bring forth opportunities as well as design challenges to consider when digital technologies meet museums and visitors.
The reasearch resulted in the publication “Opening museums – New interfaces for future museum experiences”, that reflects upon three intensive months of research and design work that took place in Beijing during October-December 2011 as a part of the Artist-in-Residence program at Red Gate Gallery. As a part of the research and working process we organized a workshop for students at the Experimental Media Department, School of City Design at Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). During the “New Interaction Methods For Future Museum Experiences” workshop at CAFA we collaborated with Today Art Museum in Beijing and the design students to generate ideas and designs for “open museums”. A selection of student projects is presented in this book along with KairUs designs adapting ideas that emerged during our research. In addition we present examples of how related projects have been realized by others in various museum environments to bring forth opportunities as well as design challenges to consider when digital technologies meet museums and visitors. The twelve student ideas, eight KairUs designs and nine examples are connected to one of five types of visitor groups – spectators, explorers, investigators, sharers or creators, to which we think they are best suited. And last but not least we suggest that “Transmedia Storytelling” offers various possibilities to engage visitor to interact and participate, while keeping the focus on the theme of an exhibition.
Next the students were presented with a design challenge; “What could be done to make the museum visitors experience more interactive and participatory?” Today Art Museum brought forward two of their challenges; how to reach a younger audience and how to deal with constantly changing exhibits. So we encouraged the students to design for their own age group as a target group and to consider that their designs should be realizable in a museum environment like Today Art Museum. At the end of the first workshop session we visited the exhibitions, the museum’s shop and café as well as the surroundings of the museum to get more familiar with the environment we were aiming to design for.
During the next five sessions we progressed each student’s idea to a design concept. Abstract ideas developed towards realizable designs through presentations and discussions. Although we were from time to time lost in translation, the students learned how to conceptualizes their ideas and we gained a broader understanding of Chinese Social Media (since western equivalents like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are blocked in China). Some of the designs will be further developed to applications or prototypes during the beginning of year 2012.
This project was funded by:
BMUKK-Österreich, Land Steiermark, Stadt Graz, Svenska Kulturfonden.
Big thanks goes to:
Redgate Gallery Director Shizue Tang.
Master He Hao, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China.
Alex, curator from the Todays Art Museum, Beijing, China.
Beijing Dance Acedemy, department of Stage Design (thanks Zangchao)
All participating students and translators!