Designing for an open museum : an exploration of content creation and sharing through interactive pieces

Julkaisun otsikon käännös: Designing for an open museum : an exploration of content creation and sharing through interactive pieces

Mariana Salgado

    Tutkimustuotos: Doctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    This thesis describes how an interaction design approach is used to encourage museum community involvement in exhibitions. My hypothesis is that by making the community a part of exhibitions it is possible to broaden and update the perspectives and the discussion on what is exhibited, making content more accessible to a range of visitors and providing more opportunities for learning and engagement. The personal and creative way that people relate to exhibited material makes the contribution of the museum community valuable. Interaction designers have the possibility to plan from the beginning the way that the museum community could create content. In order to work on these hypotheses, the main topics for my research are how to create design that encourages community participation in the museum and what to expect from such participation. To tackle this issue, I created and participated in projects that attempted to encourage people to comment on an exhibition, whether in online or onsite formats through interactive pieces. Most of the material that this thesis deals with is firsthand, collected during exhibitions in different museums in Helsinki, Finland. The cases are Sound Trace (Äänijälki) in the Ateneum Museum in 2005, Conversational Map (Keskustelukartta) in Kunsthalle in 2006, and The Secret Life of Objects (Esineiden salatut elämät) in the Design Museum in 2008. The three cases are tightly bonded to my research; each case pointed me in new directions and posed questions that affected the design of the next case. In parallel to the development of the projects I looked into the Museum Informatics field and Museum studies, participating in forums around these issues. Both Museum studies and Museum informatics have provided me with an understanding of the problematic from the museum point of view, which I link in this thesis with questions relevant to interaction designers. My personal work as a design-researcher allowed me to examine the opportunities and constraints faced by interaction designers working as external collaborators at museums. Part of this study delves deeply into how this content becomes valuable to staff and visitors and how it reflects people’s experience of the exhibition. In these case studies, I have designed interactive pieces and mechanisms geared towards involving the visitors, the staff and the designers or artists in the museum so that they create content that is later displayed in the museums. Participatory design approaches influenced the design of these pieces and facilitated the recognition of informal museum practices (sharing thoughts, feelings, jokes and questions) as well as more institutional practices (workshops, guided tours, and publications). When examining the data, I adopted the concept of “ecology of participation” which allowed me to map the complexity of the design arena, thus making visible possibilities for intervention to interaction designers. The ecology-of-participation concept binds the interactive piece, the people, and the practices with the places. My hypothesis is that by examining the ecology of participation it is possible to support and make use of existing practices, places and different actors in the museum. This thesis emphasizes that the quality of the contributions depends on the inclusion and connections within the different components of the ecology. Finally, I offer recommendations on engaging the community in technically mediated exhibitions. These recommendations are intended to support the museum community as well as interaction designers by offering insight into involvement as a part of the whole museum experience. The recommendations for the museum are to listen to and trust the community by promoting community-created content, forming alliances with external partners, such as universities, for long-term collaborations, and taking risks. Designers involved in digital design projects in museums can work towards integrating the groups in the ecology and nurturing content material. By doing so, designers perform different roles, including that of a facilitator or a gardener that is a key actor in the design of an open museum.
    Julkaisun otsikon käännösDesigning for an open museum : an exploration of content creation and sharing through interactive pieces
    Myöntävä instituutio
    • TaiK
    • Diaz-Kommonen, Lily, Vastuuprofessori
    Painoksen ISBN978-951-558-308-6
    Sähköinen ISBN978-951-558-309-3
    TilaJulkaistu - 2009
    OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


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