Creating Interactive Visitor Experiences

Back in August, I attended a ‘sandpit’, brainstorming workshop at School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. This was the second of three such sandpits forming the  LIVE!Museum project, led by Dr. Ross Parry at Leicester’s Museum Studies. LIVE!Museum  (more detail on the Museum Computer Group website) is an AHRC / BT-funded initiative, led by Parry,  to create viable research projects exploring ‘live’ content.

On the 14th September, we held the Research*Mart, a ‘final stage’, drawing together work from 3 earlier ‘sandpits’. Details will appear on the Museum Computer Group site in due course. There were some 40 people present from curators and conservators, to academics and researchers, commercial museum designers, sound designers, software developers and educators. It was a thrilling day, but having contributed to an early discussion of ‘SmartSpaces’ and ‘LiveTAG’, my passions definitely lay with ‘I, Object’ (possibly to be renamed) which explored the idea of the individual museum object or artefact being made ‘live’. The project seeks to explore the idea that the object can ‘draw in’ live content about itself, its semantic relationships, and its contemporary relevance in response to visitor interaction.

The educational opportunities, for learner (visitor) directed and initiated meaning-making, are significant and we now have to work out where the funding for this interesting work might come from.

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