Making Museums Dynamic: Lessons from the Web

Onfocus has an interesting post about transforming museum exhibits from a “broadcast” model of information display to a more dynamic “information hub” model that provides multiple layers of information and incorporates input from visitors. There’s an illustrative reflection about the author’s re-experiencing of a familiar exhibit with the aid of a tour guide, and the ways that the guide added layers of knowledge to the exhibit and facilitated the transfer of information about the exhibit between museum-goers across time:

So the tour guide had three different types of knowledge he was passing on: 1.) extended information about exhibits from the museum, museum-goers, and his own scholarship. 2.) Behind-the-scenes information about the construction of exhibits. 3.) Trends that he’s noticed in the behavior of museum-goers. And I thought that the tragedy of this is that all of this knowledge vanishes when he’s not around. In fact, I’d been to the museum several times and hadn’t hit this vein of information. With this info, the museum was a completely different experience.

The author presents a challenge of applying lessons from the web — such as personalizing visitor experiences, collecting user-generated content, information filtering, tapping social networks — to the design of museum spaces.

posted November 01, 2006 by matt

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