I really enjoyed Fiona’s talk because she tackled some really interesting challenges of incorporating digital technology into the physical space of museu. The National Maritime Museum major new building the Sammy Ofer Wing will open to the public on 14 July 2011 and has been designed with engaging the audience experience in mind. Fiona highlighted that it is so important to think about the social experience when designing exhibits. Encourage cooperation and active role playing. For an engaging museum visit it is important for the museum to direct the audience’s attention to the audience. It is the people who make a space Interesting.
Give your visitors a role to play in the museum
Inject playful role-play attitude into museum and engage your audience using theatrical inspirations. Social engagement on-site based on theatre and audience role-playing: disguising entrance and changing the tone will stimulate the visitor response. Changing visitors’ context and frame of mind shows the audience that they have an active role. Fiona gave the example of The Science of spying at the Science Museum because it encouraged Real opportunities for audience to perform.
Use appropriate technology to create novel experiences
Fiona showed how the NMM are going to use appropriate technology to create novel experiences that play against context of the space, collections and public as well as the technology that visitors already have. The NMM will set the tone from the very entrance and reception to build a great experience for your visitors. In the entrance there will be large screen displays with live data to situate the visitor in time and place. The screens will be used as mirrors to reflect the museum visitor and the additional layer of technology, engaging with social media, in particularly foursquare page, as well as providing museum data reflecting a culture of openness and transparency.
Visiting Museums is tiring
Provide rest points where conversations can happen. The NMM will open the compass lounge where it encourages visitors to take their time, lounge around, reflect & research & make sense of the collections. I love this idea: A specific place for contemplation, conversation, resting sore feet and playing with digital data.
Objects become physical markers for more content
NMM new compass card allows visitors to orientate themselves via registering interest in specific objects on their personal card. Wherever visitors see the Compass card symbol they will be able to find the hidden connections between people and the objects in the collection. Objects used in this way become a service avatar for more information. Compass card system allows visits to unlock additional data on objects they are interested in. By giving visitors a card to unlock content it also gives the museum the opportunity to track what people have engaged with. What’s really great is that after the visit individuals will be sent an ebook on things that have collected around their journey with a personalised cover which ‘feels like a really precious gift that’s based on you having taken more active route through the museum’. Awesome.
I can’t wait for the 14th July, so I can explore!