Museums and Culture

  An exploration of thinking about the role of museums and cultural production in the context of people’s everyday life.
People we interviewed for the project

People we interviewed for the project

Project Details Team: Manas Karambelkar, Zubin Pastakia, Ruben van der Vleuten Duration: 2 weeks Course: People Centred Research at CIID Guides: Simona Maschi Description This was an exploration about the role of museums and cultural production in the context of people’s everyday life. Initial research consisted of trips to several of the city’s museums to observe and absorb clues about their functioning as cultural institutions. Then, interviews were carried out with four participants to probe further and collect insights about the role of the museums in their lives. Some initial findings and patterns we noticed based on our own observations and from participant’s perceptions were: 1. “Culture” seems to be regarded in two different ways: as a noun or a verb. The former implies that, on the one hand, culture is considered to be a fixed and static category such as an art object. Thus the word culture is associated with things that are easily identifiable and communicable. On the other hand, culture is taken to be a verb when one thinks about cultural activities such as moviegoing. These activities follow trends, change over time and are sometimes harder to define. Here culture is what one does. There seems to be a conflict between these two ways of thinking about culture, even within the same person, with the result being that the individual seems to feel conflicted about their level of “cultural” literacy. 2. Museums are seen as an elite institutions and the communication is perceived to be predominantly unidirectional: from museum to patron. Chart From this we derived three key insights: 1.There is a gap between the visitor’s perception of what the museum should and could be and what the museum is or provides. 2. Communication is usually one way and predominantly visual. 3. People can have different roles depending on visit, context and company. Keeping the above in mind, we framed the following design challenges focused on one particular aspect of each insight: 1. How might we make visitors more comfortable with the content of the Design Museum if the visitor is not a design expert? 2. How might we make the museum going experience more of a dialogue between the visitor and museum by taking physicality of the interaction into account? 3. How might we enable the role of the facilitator when going with other people? With these design challenges in mind we brainstormed and short-listed three basic concepts. These would be the base of co-creation sessions and receive feedback to further develop and specify the concepts. Concepts (with working titles): Tagsplore Enable visitors with a personalised system of exploring the museum by providing a more customised experience. 1c-Tags-Mapped   Contextadore Encourage an engagement with the content and context of cultural objects that might lead to unexpected connections and juxtapositions with other objects within the museum or across museums in the city. 2-c-Context-Link-1024x768   Mona Lisa Needs a Moustache Encourage and enable dialogue between visitors and content as well as between visitor and visitor anonymously and implicitly. 3-b-Answer   Following this, we embarked on a period of co-creation with our participants and took our concepts back to them with “just enough” prototyping of props to stimulate further conversation and concept development.  

People we interviewed for the project


The chart illustrating main observations and insights


Tagsplore : Text or graphical tags to help user plan the visit to the museum and to guide him through it


Tagsplore : A low fidelity prototype used to demonstrate the functionality and as a tool for co-creation with the user


Tagsplore : The selected tags show up on the map of the museum to guide the user through it


Contextadore : A low-fidelity prototype


Contextadore : Some interesting fact / info is provided about the object the user is viewing


Contextadore : When two different objects are viewed together, the contexts are matched and relevant information regarding the same is given


User can leave a comment / thought / question regarding any of the exhibit to be read by others


Others could comment and create a thread out of the earlier posted comments / thoughts or answer the questions

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