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My final dissertation project

My final dissertation project

Published in: Technology, Education
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  • 1. Sara Barbieri<br />Final dissertation in Sociology of Work, Organization and Information Systems.<br />“Virtual Environment, <br />Materiality and Translation:<br />The AVATAR Exhibition”<br />
  • 2. The Project <br />My final dissertation concerns the ethnographical analysis of the organization of an innovative and completely new 3D museum exhibition, called AVATAR, performed in 2009 at the Trento Museum of Natural Science. <br />I followed the curator of the exhibition during his working days for seven months before the inauguration of the exhibition, analyzing the everyday problems, activities and testing. I had the chance to follow the curator but also the architect, the 3D software programmers, the graphic designers and all the people involved in the design process, from the electricians to the museum director. Thanks to this experience, I learned how difficult the creation of a brand new technology could be and how important the collaborative problem-solving activity is for the success of the whole project.<br />
  • 3. AVATAR – The Exhibition<br />The aim of the exhibition was to explain what are the “virtual worlds” and what people can do in a virtual reality. The best way to explain things to people is to make them experience and actively participate.<br />In order to do that, a completely new and customized high definition 3D world was built. The software worked off-line and you could access to the exhibition only from the “eco-work-stations” of the museum. The visitors’ physical presence was a necessary condition to perform the exhibition. The whole exhibition was designed in order to be accessible to everyone, easy to use and interactive<br /><ul><li>AVATAR is notan on-line 3D virtual exhibition, you can not access from your home computer. </li></li></ul><li>The 3D AVATAR world<br />This new virtual world is composed by ten different rooms, each of them explaining one particular aspect of the virtual reality.<br />Visitors' avatars can go across every room, interact with others and play different media tools (videos, podcasts, pictures, animations, social games, etc.). <br />
  • 4. The rooms<br />Me. The mirrors .<br />The Others. The square<br />Imaginary museum<br />The throne room<br />The lab<br />The marketplace <br />The court<br />The desert<br />Home<br />
  • 5. The eco-work-stations<br />An entire museum’s floor was dedicated to the exhibition. Computers were “hidden” inside work – stations made of paper. <br />Tools: <br />PC display<br />Mouse<br />Joystick <br />Headphones<br />
  • 6. My research<br />Question Research: how is it possible to build a completely new exhibit format in a museum?<br />How do different elements come together<br />in order to make the exhibition happen?<br />How does an innovative museum’s exhibition idea come up?<br />How to introduce and make acceptable a project that involve the construction and<br />the use of a completely new technology, never tested before?<br />
  • 7. Research techniques <br />In order to answer my question research, I followed the curator of the exhibition for seven months BEFORE the inauguration, providing a detailed documentation of daily activities, problems and solutions. <br />All the data gathered was then used to analyze the whole organizational process following the theory framework of ANT (Actor Network Theory). <br />Ethnographic tradition <br />Actor Network Theory<br />Participatory Observation <br />Translation<br />Attant<br />Socio-technogram<br />HeterogeneousEngineering<br />In-scription<br />Shadowing<br />Field notes<br />Non-structured interviews <br />Analysis of the documents<br />Studying the process that transforms AVATAR from “project idea” to “museum exhibition”  studying how heterogeneous elements are juxtaposed into a network where the negotiations transform all the elements into a new expositional format. <br />
  • 8. The concept<br />
  • 9. The concept<br />
  • 10. In-the-making<br />
  • 11. sarah.barbieri@gmail.com<br />

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