Interactivity in Exhibits

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Interactivity in Exhibits

  1. 1. Interactivity in Exhibits Some Thoughts on Doing Them Well
  2. 2. About Me… <ul><li>Working in museums for 18 years or so </li></ul><ul><li>Started out in Evaluation/Audience Research </li></ul><ul><li>Moved on to exhibit planning and development and project management </li></ul><ul><li>Design firms and museums </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Me… <ul><li>At the end of January, I had spent 4+ years at the Boston Children’s Museum </li></ul><ul><li>Groundbreaker in development of hands-on interactivity in museums </li></ul>
  4. 4. About Me… <ul><li>As of 1 February – Waterloo Region Museum </li></ul><ul><li>West of Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>New, $ 25 million museum + exhibits, with interactive components </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some Myths <ul><li>They’re only for kids, not adults </li></ul><ul><li>Only useful in children's’ museums and science centres </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t coexist with artifacts </li></ul><ul><li>Just push buttons </li></ul><ul><li>Just computer kiosks </li></ul><ul><li>Just mechanical </li></ul><ul><li>Always break </li></ul><ul><li>Cost too much </li></ul><ul><li>You can convey the same information with text </li></ul><ul><li>You can explain any complex or abstract concept with them </li></ul>
  6. 6. This Is Not an Interactive…
  7. 7. PISEC – A Way to Look at Them <ul><li>1998 study of family friendly exhibits </li></ul><ul><li>Conducted by Minda Borun </li></ul><ul><li>Included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Franklin Institute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Jersey State Aquarium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philadelphia Zoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academy of Natural Sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>7 characteristics of family friendly exhibits </li></ul>
  8. 8. 1. Multi-Sided <ul><li>Family can cluster around exhibit </li></ul>
  9. 9. Brookfield Zoo
  10. 10. V & A
  11. 11. 2. Multi-User <ul><li>Interaction allows for several sets of hands or bodies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tied to multi-sided </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. V & A
  13. 13. KidStage
  14. 14. Peep’s World
  15. 15. The Common
  16. 16. Game On!
  17. 17. 3. Accessible <ul><li>Comfortably used by children and adults </li></ul>
  18. 18. Making America’s Music
  19. 19. Making America’s Music
  20. 20. The Common
  21. 21. History is All Around Us
  22. 22. 4. Multi-Outcome <ul><li>Observation and interactions are sufficiently complex to foster group discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not always appropriate in a non-science setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Open-ended” might be a better term </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Raceways at BCM
  24. 24. Raceways at BCM
  25. 25. Children of Hangzhou
  26. 26. The Common
  27. 27. 5. Multi-modal <ul><li>Appeals to different learning styles and levels of knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is really very difficult in a single exhibit element </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best achieved by using various techniques throughout an exhibit </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. 6. Readable <ul><li>Text is arranged in easily understood segments </li></ul>
  29. 29. Peep’s World
  30. 30. Peep’s World
  31. 31. The Common
  32. 32. The Common
  33. 33. Children of Hangzhou
  34. 34. Peep’s World
  35. 35. 7. Relevant <ul><li>Provides cognitive links to visitors’ existing knowledge and experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best achieved using Front-End evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirmed using Prototyping </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Prototyping
  37. 37. Prototyping
  38. 38. Some Other Thoughts/Examples
  39. 39. Costumes
  40. 40. Computers for Keepsakes
  41. 41. Photo Ops
  42. 42. Integrated with Artifacts
  43. 43. Integrated with Artifacts
  44. 44. Integrated with Artifacts - Touch
  45. 45. Integrated with Artifacts - Touch
  46. 46. Integrated with Artifacts - Touch
  47. 47. Feedback Incorporated in Exhibit
  48. 48. Royal Museum of Scotland
  49. 49. Thank You! <ul><li>James Jensen </li></ul><ul><li>Curator of Exhibits </li></ul><ul><li>Waterloo Region Museum </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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