Three Surprising Lessons about Design for Participation

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I've been studying and practicing participatory design techniques for several years. Here are three things I've learned that have really surprised me and significantly shifted my work. First presented to the Museum of Vancouver on May 26, 2010 by Nina Simon, Museum 2.0.

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Three Surprising Lessons about Design for Participation

  1. 1. A DISCUSSION WITH NINA SIMON nina@museumtwo.com @ninaksimon on twitter slides at http://bit.ly/ninathree
  2. 2. where i live
  3. 3. what i do balboa park online collaborative boston children’s museum calgary science center chabot space science center chicago history museum denver art museum experience music project girls math and science partnership international spy museum monterey bay aquarium oakland museum SFMOMA smithsonian museum of natural history statens museum for kunst tech museum of innovation
  4. 4. what i advocate the participatory institution is a place where visitors can create, share, and connect with each other around content.
  5. 5. in cultural institutions, that can mean... Cantor Art Center lower: Chicago Children’s Museum Minnesota History Center lower: Science Museum of Minnesota
  6. 6. THREE SURPRISING THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT DESIGN FOR PARTICIPATION
  7. 7. LESSON 1: MORE SCAFFOLDING! MORE CONSTRAINTS!
  8. 8. Denver Art Museum
  9. 9. Denver Art Museum 90,000 visitors, 37,000 posters made average time spent making a poster: 25 minutes
  10. 10. GoMA
  11. 11. Find someone about your height to help you with this exhibit GoMA
  12. 12. Find someone aboutyour gender to help you with this exhibit Ask a stranger of your height do this activity with you GoMA
  13. 13. LESSON 2: PEOPLE CONTRIBUTE DIFFERENT THINGS WHEN GIVEN DIFFERENT PROMPTS & INPUT MECHANISMS.
  14. 14. Lowell National Historical Park
  15. 15. “The percentage of ‘unrelated’ responses decreased from 58% (white cards) to 40% (blue cards), and ‘specific’ responses nearly doubled, from 28% (white) to 50% (blue).” http://www.participatorymuseum.org/ref3-16/
  16. 16. LESSON 3: RESPONSIVENESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE.
  17. 17. HOW CAN VISITORS MAKE THIS PROJECT BETTER?
  18. 18. Worcester City Gallery and Museum
  19. 19. Worcester City Gallery and Museum
  20. 20. Worcester City Gallery and Museum
  21. 21. “At first, I wasn't sure whether or not my responses were useful to anybody. It took a long time for any feedback to filter through. When it did come I really appreciated Nina's thanks and encouragement. That's what kept me coming back to the site.” http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2010/03/participatory-museum-process-part-2.html
  22. 22. HOW CAN VISITORS MAKE YOUR INSTITUTION BETTER?
  23. 23. A DISCUSSION WITH NINA SIMON nina@museumtwo.com @ninaksimon on twitter slides at http://bit.ly/ninathree

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