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 →
Contextualizing Historic Spaces
Review of Darger as Reader, Writer and Bookmaker at Intuit Darger as Reader, Writer, and Bookmaker (open June 11–July 18, 2021) is the first is a series of three exhibits about the Henry Darger Room at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Henry Darger (1892-1973) was a Chicago-based illustrator and author who was... Continue Reading →
Refocusing Museums on People
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 →
Designing Virtual Exhibits to Facilitate Better Social Interactions than Facebook
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.
Virtual Exhibit Case Study: Making Friends around American History
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?
Giving Visitors Control Over Virtual Exhibit Content
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.
Who is going to visit your virtual exhibit?
As an exhibit developer, my job is to create exhibits that engage visitors. In order to effectively do my job, I need to know who my visitors are. Unfortunately, few museums understand their in-person audiences and even fewer institutions profile their virtual visitors.
What is a “virtual exhibit?”
There's a lot of buzz about "virtual exhibits," but few museum practitioners agree on the definition of a "virtual exhibit." What makes them different from a website? Or, from a collections database? Do these distinctions even matter? This post is the second in a series on virtual exhibits.
Should museums invest in virtual exhibits?
Museums are undergoing a metamorphosis. Historically, museums have been primarily physical spaces. However, in response to the wave of COVID closures, an increasingly large number of museums have been creating virtual exhibits. Unfortunately, most virtual exhibits are not serving visitors.
Spilling the Tea on Designing Museum Spaces for Teens
Discover five ways to build engaging exhibits for teens based on neuroscientific and psychological research.