Posts Tagged 'cultural interactive experiences'

Crowdsourcing design: what will this mean for museums?

Across the online environment, there is growing engagement with user-generated content which impacts on designers as they move from sole author and producer to facilitators of the design process. User-driven and open innovation models of collaboration are impacting on the design and development of services and while there is a growing body of theory exploring the basis of this innovation, there are few models for the way in which designers will practice within this environment.

We are currently witnessing transformations in the ways in which clients engage designers and the ways in which designers participate in the development of products, services and experiences. These transformations in design practice are closely aligned to changing audience expectation and a growing demand for user participation in the design process. This is in keeping with a shift from the development of a service to an experience economy. (Gilmore & Pine 1999, Rivkin 2000)

The notion of experience enterprises has been coined in response to the experience economy. It encompasses those enterprises, both commercial and publicly funded, which have at their heart, the mandate to attract new audiences/ consumers/ producers through the development of integrated, multiplatform experiences. For example, both Nike, with its hugely successful Nike + social networking campaign which facilitates the development of communities of runners worldwide and Flickr Commons, the photo-sharing facility developed for cultural organisations to share archival imagery focus on adding value to existing services by creating and sharing in memorable experiences.

In the museum environment, it is sometimes suggested that audiences/creators and producers are willing to pay more for products and services if these are provided in an atmosphere that generates ‘memorable’ experiences. If this is the case and designers have yet to explore the impact of the user/creator on their practice, what will it mean for the development of future museum communication programs?

This posting is a starting point for problematising a broader shift in consumption and production, recognising the profound impacts that these shifts will have on future design practices and in turn, the ways in which they will affect museum programs.

Some of the questions it seeks to explore include:
How will social networking affect design as an enterprise?
What will this mean to organisations which engage designers?
Will services and experiences converge?
Who will drive new models of design innovation?
How will innovation drive new audiences/clients?

This thought-piece hopes to explore the demand-driven environment for design innovation, supported by establishing partnerships throughout the value-chain of development through a participatory process of design which seeks to engage both audiences and users in the design and development of cultual interactive experiences. I am very interested in gaining insights from our community into how this might develop over the next few years. Please feel free to leave a comment here or on twitter. I look forward to your feedback.

Converting user-generated content into cultural interactive physical experiences

I didn’t think it was going to be possible for a museumophile like me to be completely enthralled in an exhibition again. That was until I went to TePapa in Wellington, New Zealand last week!! 

Not only is TePapa an incredibly rich, complex and beautiful museum, it continues to be the single most popular tourist attraction in New Zealand – not a mean feat in a country well known for it’s extreme adventure possibilities!

Late last week TePapa launched the NZMuseums which showcases the museums and collections of New Zealand. This site aims to become a directory of New Zealand museums, and an online collection management system for museums.This initative will grow over time as more collection information and additional functions are added. Congratulations to the team!

While at TePapa, Wallis Barnicoat, Manager Museum Development arranged for a sneak preview of the soon to be launched ‘Our Space’ exhibition. And what an exhibition it is!! The space itself includes an 18metre projection wall where audiences can load user generated content and create their own creative works. Here’s how it works. You can visit the website, sign up and start loading your images online. The images are then transferred to kiosks within the physical space and are made available for audiences to remix as they desire. You can then buy your final artwork at the helpdesk or find your contribution online.

This exhibition brings the best of co-created experiences together in an impressive museum exhibition. It is a significant example of the conversion from virtual user-generated content to physical cultural interactive experience and we look forward to watching how it progresses once launched later this week.

Our Space also includes two other fascinating exhibits:
The Map – Images from all around New Zealand  and The Rides:

The Map includes a large floor map of New Zealand. As you walk across the map, images appear on the mirrored media walls around the Map, triggered as you move across the glass floor. Each time you step on a trigger, a new image of that region appears.

The Rides bring together the best of thrilling physical encounters with glorious images of life in New Zealand. Based on roller-coaster type technologies, the interactive rides situate you in front of a large screen which projects images of New Zealand as you fly, free fall, swim and skate across the space (while strapped into a seat!) Part theme park ride, part natural science documentary, the two rides are some of the most entertaining physical experiences I’ve had in a museum for some time. If you only go to New Zealand once, go and see these exhibitions – and make sure you go on an empty stomach!!

Thanks to Wallis Barnicoat for organising this special viewing. I look forward to watching the ‘Our Space’ exhibition evolve as audiences connect both physically and virtually with cultural content!


About us

This blog examines social media, cultural institutions and digital participation. It's based on the research projects Engaging with Social Media in Museums and New Literacy, New Audiences. Regular contributors are Angelina Russo, Lynda Kelly and Seb Chan

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