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On A New Threshold: Experiments In Gaming, Retail And Performance Design To Shape Museum Entrances

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Dr Ross PARRY (Senior Lecturer, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK)

Dr Ruth PAGE (Reader, School of English, University of Leicester, UK)

Alex MOSELEY (Educational Designer, Course Design & Development Team, University of Leicester, UK)

Dr Erik KRISTIANSEN (Assistant Professor in Performance Design & DREAM, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark)

Even as museums continue to push content out to the network and support experiences at a distance, the threshold to the physical museum endures as a highly visible and symbolic space, where trust and expectations are built, protocols established and affordances noticed. But, today, are these threshold spaces still fit for purpose? Is the use of media within these spaces appropriate for modern modes of visiting? Are the informational metaphors (such as the architectural plan) sensitive to today’s media literacies? Does visitor connectivity suggest new types of encounter? And does visitors’ experience of playing, buying, discovering and learning in other parts of their lives point to alternative means of scaffolding the museum threshold event? Drawing upon the work of two connected research projects (in the UK and Denmark) this paper shows how museum threshold media might be influenced usefully by other sectors that (arguably) have more evolved concepts and practices around ‘threshold’, ‘orientation’ and ‘initiation’ – specifically retail, gaming and performance. The paper will also explain how three experimental media interventions (using these new conceptual lenses) were tested within three real museum contexts – the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London), New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester) and Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire). Finally, the paper concludes by rethinking the idea of museum ‘threshold’ (defined, instead, by intention and action rather than physical parameters, perhaps more by time rather than space), and ends by reflecting upon the influence that the web is having on the conceptualisation, strategic use and design of our physical museum entrances.

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On A New Threshold: Experiments In Gaming, Retail And Performance Design To Shape Museum Entrances

  1. 1. Museums and the Web 2014  Baltimore On A New Threshold: Experiments In Gaming, Retail And Performance Design To Shape Museum Entrances
  2. 2. Museums and the Web 2014  Baltimore On A New Threshold: Experiments In Gaming, Retail And Performance Design To Shape Museum Entrances Dr Ross PARRY (School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK) Dr Ruth PAGE (School of English, University of Leicester, UK) Alex MOSELEY (Course Design & Development Team, University of Leicester, UK) Dr Erik KRISTIANSEN (Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark)
  3. 3. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests:
  4. 4. Multiplying thresholds
  5. 5. Multiplying thresholds
  6. 6. Multiplying thresholds
  7. 7. Multiplying thresholds
  8. 8. Enduring iconicity
  9. 9. Enduring iconicity
  10. 10. Enduring iconicity
  11. 11. Enduring iconicity historically resonant sociologically complex interpretatively meaningful pivotal to the visit event
  12. 12. digital being naturalised within the museum’s vision and articulation of itself a preparedness for a post-digital organisational structure actively recruiting blended roles the presence of ‘digital thinking’ digital being part of the generative and ideation moment blended production strategising for a multiplatform future no need for digital to be strategised separately The postdigital museum Ross Parry, 'The End of the Beginning: Normativity in the Postdigital Museum', Museum Worlds, vol. 1 (2013), 24-39.
  13. 13. Alternative scaffolding
  14. 14. Alternative scaffolding Retail Studies
  15. 15. Alternative scaffolding Retail Studies Game Studies
  16. 16. Alternative scaffolding Retail Studies Game Studies Performance Studies
  17. 17. the charette
  18. 18. the charette
  19. 19. the retail threshold
  20. 20. the retail threshold Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) ‘Salient Signs’
  21. 21. the retail threshold Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) ‘Salient Signs’
  22. 22. the game threshold
  23. 23. the game threshold Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire) ‘Augmented Signs’
  24. 24. the game threshold ‘Augmented Signs’ Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire)
  25. 25. the performance threshold
  26. 26. the performance threshold ‘Human Signs’ New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester)
  27. 27. the performance threshold ‘Human Signs’ New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester)
  28. 28. Retail Threshold
  29. 29. Game Threshold Retail Threshold
  30. 30. Game Threshold Retail Threshold Performance Threshold
  31. 31. Game Threshold Retail Threshold Performance Threshold Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester)
  32. 32. Game Threshold Retail Threshold Performance Threshold Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester) ‘magic circle’ ‘explorative play’ (Kristiansen, 2014) ‘saliency’ ‘servicescape’ (Harwood, 2013) ‘Invisible theatre’ ‘real life rehearsal’ (Human, 2013)
  33. 33. Game Threshold Retail Threshold Performance Threshold Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester) ‘magic circle’ ‘explorative play’ (Kristiansen, 2014) ‘saliency’ ‘servicescape’ (Harwood, 2013) ‘Invisible theatre’ ‘real life rehearsal’ (Human, 2013) ‘Salient Signs’ ‘Human signs’‘Augmented Signs’
  34. 34. Game Threshold Retail Threshold Performance Threshold Chatsworth House (Bakewell, Derbyshire) Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) New Walk Museum and Art Gallery (Leicester) ‘magic circle’ ‘explorative play’ (Kristiansen, 2014) ‘saliency’ ‘servicescape’ (Harwood, 2013) ‘Invisible theatre’ ‘real life rehearsal’ (Human, 2013) ‘Salient Signs’ ‘Human signs’‘Augmented Signs’ Point-of-view recording Visitor tracking / performer researcher Aerial recording
  35. 35. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests:
  36. 36. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests: 
  37. 37. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests: 
  38. 38. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests: 
  39. 39. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision. Our work on ‘Transforming Thresholds’ suggests:
  40. 40. there are alternative (mature) frameworks for designing thresholds that deserve our attention; museum thresholds might better be understood as intention/action, rather than as a physical boundary (as time, rather than space); digital media can encourage reconceptualization of other (non-digital) aspects of museum provision.
  41. 41. Museums and the Web 2014  Baltimore On A New Threshold: Experiments In Gaming, Retail And Performance Design To Shape Museum Entrances Dr Ross PARRY (School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK) Dr Ruth PAGE (School of English, University of Leicester, UK) Alex MOSELEY (Course Design & Development Team, University of Leicester, UK) Dr Erik KRISTIANSEN (Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark)

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