The Davis Museum lobby has no method of informing visitors about their museum experience to come or contextualizing it afterwards. Without maps, interactive guides, and customizable tours, visitors are ill-informed of what the museum has to offer and why the works are important. Furthermore, this dearth of information and welcoming in the lobby prevents potential visitors from feeling as if the museum is a resource freely at their disposal.
The users of the system will be visitors to the museum, seeking information about the exhibits and to customize the museum experience for themselves. We want to reach as many demographics as possible, addressing the needs of student visitors and providing the ability to collaboratively structure a tour. We believe a tangible approach is optimal because it is uniquely inviting within the lobby space, it is collaborative, and it offers a very fluid basis for our own application development.
We believe that developing a Surface application to be used in the lobby of the Davis Museum would be an optimal solution. For the aforementioned reasons, it will draw in new visitors and increase the welcoming aura of the space. Furthermore, the lobby is a unique space that visitors occupy before and after their viewing experiences. A Surface application in this space has the potential to work as a learning tool, extending the visitors’ knowledge, experience, and associations between works.
The user can choose from the surface an exhibition or piece to learn more about. Through gestural interactions with the surface, he or she can gain contextual knowledge associated with each piece (e.g. a cultural context for the piece that must be observed or experienced) that cannot be displayed in the physical exhibitions. For many, the surface application can replace the traditional brochure, providing interactive content and media about the museum history, maps, featured exhibitions, upcoming events, and contributors. It can further be used to collect, assemble, and share a mosaic of experiences from previous museum visitors.
Extended components of this project can incorporate mobile or other handheld technology.
The ARCHIE project supports cooperative gaming in museum environments through handheld devices. It presents a framework for creating mobile guides that potentially enhance social relationships between visitors and stimulate youth to visit museums. Their goals are similar to ours in that we both aim to improve and enhance museum learning.
MobiTags allow museum curators to gather and analyze semantic, social, and spatial navigation in museums by tracking the navigation of visitors within the venue. This information can be used to evaluate the physical placement of art and resources within a venue in order to improve the visitor’s museum experience.
Collaborative/”Scaffolding” museum learning games and tools
The MUSHI TUI supports cooperative learning in informal environments such as museums. Museum visitors interact with each other through handheld devices and observe the results on a tabletop monitor. While this TUI supports cooperation between multiple users, the experiences are individual and physically separate. Their goals are similar to ours in that we both aim to improve and enhance museum learning.