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Participatory Design in Museums: Visitor-Oriented Perspectives on Exhibition Design
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about the design of technology for museum exhibitions. More specifically, it explores different ways in which visitors can contribute to museum exhibition design and how technology can support learning-related activities within museum exhibitions.

Most contemporary museums collect, preserve, and provide access to important cultural and historical artefacts with the explicit intention of educating and informing the general public about those artefacts. For many exhibition designers, the audience's encounter with the exhibition is of primary concern, and technology is often seen as a means for providing visitors with new experiences and opportunities for learning. However, it appears to be only very recently that researchers have begun to show an interest in how modern technology is actually being used by visitors and many museums are struggling in their efforts to incorporate new technologies in their established exhibition design practices.

Thus, on the one hand, many museums are seeking more visitor-focused ways of carrying out design (with the help of, for example, different forms of evaluation or feedback). On the other hand, many museums seem to have limited experience with designing technology in a user-oriented fashion. Consequently, human-computer interaction, with its long tradition of involving users in design, is in a position to provide museums with new ways for audiences to contribute to exhibitions with their knowledge, experience, opinions, and desires. The papers in this thesis explore this topic through a number of case studies where visitors have been invited to contribute to the design and evaluation of exhibitions. The analysis of the results suggests that visitors can provide relevant contributions in all of the main phases of museum exhibition production.

This thesis also addresses the issue of how technology can support learning-related activities in museums. It appears that many museums base their notion of learning on epistemologies which suggest that activities such as interpretation, communication, and collaboration are fundamental to most museum learning processes. Consequently, the papers in this thesis explore a number of different techniques for supporting and orchestrating such social activities. The result is a set of design approaches that has the ability to encourage collaboration and dialogue between co-present visitors and allow visitors to create dynamic and evolving contexts for existing exhibits.

In summary, the contributions of this thesis explore museum exhibition design from two different, yet interrelated perspectives. From the first perspective, visitors' desires, wishes, experiences, and knowledge are seen as important contributions to museum exhibition design. From the second perspective, different social activities and relationships between visitors in museums become the focus of the design activities. Together, these two perspectives outline an approach to museum exhibition design where visitors are of primary concern, both with respect to the content presented in exhibitions and with respect to the way exhibitions orchestrate and support different forms of social interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2005. , x, 77 p.
Series
Trita-NA, ISSN 0348-2952 ; 0516
Keyword [en]
Människa-dator-interaktion, Museums, Participtory Design, Technology
Keyword [sv]
Människa-dator-interaktion
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-221ISBN: 91-7178-082-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-221DiVA: diva2:7937
Public defence
2005-06-03, E1, Lindstedtsvägen 3, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101004Available from: 2005-05-25 Created: 2005-05-25 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. KidStory: a technology design partnership with children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>KidStory: a technology design partnership with children
2001 (English)In: Behavior and Information Technology, ISSN 0144-929X, E-ISSN 1362-3001, Vol. 20, no 2, 119-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a new design method that is used within the KidStory project to enable a large number of young children to participate as partners in the design of advanced storytelling technology. The method is an adaptation of the cooperative inquiry method for school environments and uses a combination of evaluation, brainstorming and traditional education methods. These activities have lead to the elaboration of new ideas, impacted the design of existing software and produced a number of interesting new technology designs.

Keyword
computer
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-20707 (URN)10.1080/01449290010020701 (DOI)000169229100006 ()
Note
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Introducing Participatory Design in Museums
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introducing Participatory Design in Museums
2004 (English)In: PDC 2004 - Proceedings of the Eight Participatory Design Conference 2004 - Artful Integration: Interweaving Media, Materials and Practices / [ed] Besselaar P., Oostveen A.-M., 2004, 204-213 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

 

This paper describes how a set of participatory design methodologies have been introduced to and adopted for museum exhibition design. It provides a brief historical account of museums and reviews some current trends in museum exhibition design. Furthermore, the paper outlines a number of reasons why participatory methods may be appropriate for museums, and two such methods are described: one for evaluation of exhibits, and one for exhibition concept development. Evaluation of the methodologies suggests that they are efficient; both in terms of resources and in the richness of the data they produce. In addition, it appears that they are capable of both supporting and extending established museum design practices.

Keyword
Museums, Participatory Design, Evaluation, Concept Development
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24928 (URN)2-s2.0-18644372320 (Scopus ID)
Conference
Toronto, ON, 24/7 - 31/7 2004
Note
QC 201001001Available from: 2010-10-01 Created: 2010-10-01 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved
3. The well of inventions - learning, interaction and parcipatory design in museum installations.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The well of inventions - learning, interaction and parcipatory design in museum installations.
Show others...
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the Seventh International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting(ICHIM 2003)., 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24932 (URN)
Note
QC 20101001Available from: 2010-10-01 Created: 2010-10-01 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved
4. Teaching computer graphics constructively
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching computer graphics constructively
2004 (English)In: Computers & graphics, ISSN 0097-8493, E-ISSN 1873-7684, Vol. 28, no 3, 393-399 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last few decades, constructivist-oriented teaching methods have gained increasing support within primary education. This paper provides a short overview of two such constructivist epistemologies and describes a preliminary attempt to apply them in university-level graphics education. While the outcome of the attempt is difficult to evaluate, the reaction from the students raises some interesting issues concerning problem solving and efficiency in general.

Keyword
constructivism, computer graphics education
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-23515 (URN)10.1016/j.cag.2004.03.006 (DOI)000222135300009 ()2-s2.0-2542441765 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100525 QC 20111026Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
5. Designing mixed media artefacts for public settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing mixed media artefacts for public settings
2004 (English)In: Cooperative Systems Design. Scenario-Based Design of Collaborative Systems / [ed] Darses, F., Simone, C. and Zacklad, M., Amsterdam: IOS Press , 2004, 195-210 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes how principles which are emerging from socialscientific studies of people’s interaction with mixed media artefacts in public place have been used to support the development of two installations, the second of which is a long term museum exhibit. Our principles highlight the design of ‘emergent collaborative value’, ‘layers of noticeability’ and ‘structures of motivation’ to create an ‘ecology of participation’ in installations. We describe how our first installation was used as a ‘research vehicle’ that guided and shaped the design of the museum installation. We also provide an account of how people interact with our installations and how this analysis has shaped their design. The paper closes with some general remarks about the challenges there are for the design of collaborative installations and the extent to which we have met them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2004
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24933 (URN)
Conference
Proceedings of the 6th International Conferenceon the Design of Cooperative Systems, May 11-14 2004, Hyères, France
Note
QC 20101004Available from: 2010-10-04 Created: 2010-10-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved
6. The extended museum visit: documenting and exhibiting post-visit experiences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The extended museum visit: documenting and exhibiting post-visit experiences
2005 (English)In: Museums and the Web 2005: Proceedings, 13-16 April 2005, Vancouver, Canada. / [ed] J. Trant and D. Bearman, Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics , 2005Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the last couple of decades, a growing body of research has provided insights into the complex processes of learning that take place in museums. Interestingly, museum-related learning is not limited to the actual visit: what takes place before and afterwards has a profound effect on the learning outcome. The study presented in this paper focuses on the post-visit aspects of the learning process.

Previous research shows that visitors make connections between their experiences in the museum and experiences that happen after the visit. Sometimes these connections can occur weeks or months (or even years) after the visit, depending on when the visitor happens upon a situation that allows the connection to be made.

Documenting these events is obviously quite difficult. Even though it is possible to re-establish contact with visitors after a few weeks or months (e.g., through telephone or e-mail), the information obtained is not in situ. The goal of the present study is to attempt to acquire and analyze more data from these in situ situations, and to re-present the data in an exhibition. To this end, we have designed a system that allows visitors to send images and text messages to a central server through e-mail, SMS or MMS. The data from the server can then be visualized as a weblog (blog) or in some other suitable form.

We collaborated with the Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. A large part of the Museum's Science Centre is devoted to five mechanical principles: the screw, the plane slope, the lever, the wheel and the wedge. We have designed an exhibit that utilizes our system to present messages (images and text) from visitors on the subject of the five principles in the science centre itself. It is also possible to access the messages through a public Web page.

From the Museum's perspective, our exhibit not only provides new opportunities for documenting post-visit learning processes, but also has the potential to provide new forms of evaluation data that might be difficult to obtain through other means. Furthermore, it allows Museum visitors to extend the original scope of the mechanical principles exhibition by allowing them to provide their own content (and reflections upon the existing content),  a re-occurring theme in many recent technology-based exhibits.

The paper provides a description of our system, the exhibit we have built, how the exhibit is managed, and how it has worked in practice.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Toronto: Archives & Museum Informatics, 2005
Keyword
Learning, Visitor contributions, Post-visit experiences, Design.
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-24935 (URN)
Note
QC 20101004Available from: 2010-10-04 Created: 2010-10-04 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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