MCN 2016 Session – Blending the Tangible and Digital to Craft New Co-Designed Interactions for Museums

Blending the tangible and digital to craft new co-designed interactions for museums

Thursday, November 3, 2016 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Session Leader: Nicholas Dulake, Mr, Sheffield Hallam University

The technology that underpins the Internet of Things, offers ways to embed interactivity within the exhibition: microprocessors, sensors, and actuators can be concealed within reactive spaces and smart objects that seamlessly blend with their surroundings. This offers a new perspectives on how to deliver digital curated content in the context of a museum visit through, for example, smart artefacts. Through a series of museum case studies we will discuss how smart artefacts can bridge the gap between the physical and the digital: Can this integration give the visitor an enriched experience and higher level of object association? And to what level do these smart objects act as transitional objects for the curated content? Our observations / evaluations show that the act of holding an object empowers the visitor and engages them to a deeper level. The curator’s role in the multidisciplinary team is then that of a storyteller that blends the content and interpretation with aspects of the visitor’s interactive experience. The knowledge gained through several case studies was instrumental to the creation of a toolkit that aims at bringing the potential and power of the internet of things on the exhibition floor. By using the cloud-based toolkit, cultural heritage and museum professionals can embed digital content into smart objects and spaces with just a few clicks. This opens up possibilities for exhibition creation using design thinking and fast prototyping. Museums can then explore a wide range of possible visitors’ experiences in an experimental environment to assess whether ‘it works!’ or not. Starting from the case studies the presentation will discuss the journey for idea to implantation.

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