In-person museum conferences are finally back! But, after a two-year hibernation, many of us are struggling to remember how to take advantage of these professional development and networking opportunities. This year I attended 2 museum conferences with other members of the Luci Creative team: the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference and... Continue Reading →
I am a huge believer in the power of participation to transform museums for the better. But, over and over, I’ve seen well-intentioned museum staff make lots of small decisions that they feel will protect their institutions, but add up to undermine their community engagement processes.
Museums are changing how they interact with the communities they serve, adopting practices that are more inclusive and engaging for all. One of the practices they are increasingly turning to is co-creation: forming an equal partnership with one or more stakeholders to design and execute a mutually beneficial project, such as an exhibition or program.... Continue Reading →
Or, my dreams for museums in a post-COVID world As I watch museums lay off thousands of highly qualified underpaid staff during this pandemic, I have been asking myself why I keep investing in museums. Museum staff are overwhelmingly white, straight, and able-bodied and museum leaders are overwhelmingly male. For centuries museums have told stories... Continue Reading →
Virtual exhibits should be social spaces that give visitors control over who they engage with, how they engage, and how much they engage. In this blog post, explore how to use the scholarship on social interaction design for virtual worlds to build virtual exhibits that connect visitors to each other and museum content.
Let's imagine we’re building a virtual exhibit around The Smithsonian’s History of American in 101 Objects by Richard Kurin. How might we do it?
Why can't museums seem to give visitors more control over content? One answer that I keep coming back to is that museums are perfectionist control freaks.
Adam Koszary, the social media editor at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, observed, “museums have become used to being masters of their own spaces, but on the internet we need to embrace the fact that we are one voice among many." Virtual exhibits should invite visitors to create new content and share their creations with other visitors. It makes exhibits more engaging and helps visitors connect to the content.
Personalized experiences empower visitors to sort through content and to select opportunities to interact with other visitors, allowing each visitor to focus on what they find meaningful and exciting.