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Designing apps for museum visitors

What does a mobile apps mean to museums and their visitors? It is about accommodating visitors' needs, offering tips to engage with the exhibits, and inspiring different layers of interpretation. At its core, the design of museum apps should ask, "how do the institution facilitate visitors' visit?"

Museum apps and audience engagement

Tate museums has been developing various mobile apps to facilitate visitors' experiences. Most notably, Tate Ball (randomly selects select an artwork from the Tate collection that speaks to users' environment), Tate Trump (that challenges users' art knowledge), and Race Against Time (a game where users are required to collect ‘colour power’ and avoid 'art attacker'. These interesting mobile apps invites museum professionals to imagine how visitors experiences can be shaped?

Let's see some art via SMS

The museum’s new Send Me SFMOMA project—which sends works from its 34,678-piece collection to anyone in the world via text message. The project can be considered Send Me as an SMS service that provides an approachable, personal, and creative method of sharing the breadth of SFMOMA’s collection with the public. It was designed to generate personal connections to the museum in a world oversaturated with information.

Museum Association and their enquiry

How can collections be used to empower people, be made relevant to different communities and be made more dynamic and responsive to changing expertise and knowledge? The Museums Association (MA) has launched Collections 2030, a major new research project that seeks to understand the current state of museum collections in the UK, and identify how to make the most of museum collections over the course of the next decade. This discussion paper helps to envision the future of museums.

Museum's social concern

“One Step Away” is a collaboration where participant storytellers directed development of the exhibition. Personal objects and individual testimonies make up the exhibition, and each is an account of lived experience with homelessness. Visitors are encouraged to play a game called "Perspective," where everyone begins with different resources, abilities, and privileges that inform our life choices.


2017威尼斯雙年展紐西蘭館,毛利藝術家Lisa Reihana《追尋金星(感染)》(in Pursuit of Venus [infected])揭示殖民歷史的多重衝突,並透過虛構的「歷史圖像」以不同的角度觀看歷史、甚至所處的世界。我們如何跳出非黑即白的論述,回望殖民時代的過去﹖

How can an object be relevant?

In 1613, when Mohawk people noticed newcomers entering their territory and clearing land. A delegation of Haudenosaunee was dispatched to meet with Dutch representatives to negotiate a relationship with the new peoples now occupying Haudenosaunee land. The Two Row Wampum agreement was created to agree on how the nations would relate to one another. How can museum display enable the object to be understood?

Can museums be decolonialized?

Decolonization in museums is not only about how the institutions re-examine colonial history. It is also about how to see how museums would develop professional practices in their own cultural contexts.

Tea set and suffrage stories

How do we research into an object's stories? In the early 20th century, suffragettes who bought these tea services could use them as propaganda tools in a bid to convert their ‘anti’ neighbours. This particular tea set even tells us about a lesser known suffragette, Rose Lamartine Yates, who held fundraising tea parties for the campaign.

What does a future museum look like?

What are museums for? Who have a say about what the museum looks like? At the V&A Museum of Childhood we have been experimenting with the co-design process to explore how our visitors might impact on the architectural evolution of the building, inspired by their desired and imagined engagement with its spaces.

Define body images with communities

How can community collaboration be embedded in museum practices? How can museums work with audiences to shape their exhibitions? In collaboration with residents from Birmingham, this exhibition, "Within and Without: Body Image and the Self" was curated to think critically about representation of body image and who constructs the standards of beauty.

Feeling a Rembrandt?

How can touching and smelling inform us about artist's process of making? Denver Art Museum worked with local designer Matt Gesualdi to develop a multisensory installed experience in the exhibition, "Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker" to help explain Rembrandt’s printmaking processes.

When artists work with writers...

This major exhibition shows how Virginia Woolf’s perspectives on feminism and creativity have remained relevant. It acts as a lens through which ideas around landscape, domesticity and identity – recurring ideas in Woolf’s writing – have been dealt with across a century of art, through the work of 80 artists.

Digital storytelling and museums

Storytelling is about sharing and co-creation. How can digital technology foster participants' experiences and invite more people to tell their own stories? We need to hear more community voices!

Museum collections and connections

Why do museums need collections? According to Steven Lubar, museums need collections to make connections with audiences and develop conversations between curatorial knowledge and other forms of knowledge.

Collecting the Present

How do museums collect contemporary objects? How would contemporary collecting work with different people? What would these objects tell us about the present society?

Immersive experiences and museum

What is an immersive experience? How does this reflect on the way museums curate exhibitions? How does this bring more meaningful experiences for wider audiences?

Accidentally agile

The director of the national museum of Dutch art and history describes the central role of agility in the museum’s massive renovation project—and in its drive for perpetual renewal.

方蘇 將傘運帶進大英博物館

21世紀的今天,畫家方蘇剛剛參加了大英博物館舉辦的一個曠古絕今展覽,名叫I object,意思是「我反對」。策展人在數以十萬計的館藏中,找出人類自古以來表達異議,亦即是呈現反對聲音的遺痕。結果,選出的各類展品,最早遠至古代埃及,最近包括有香港2014年的雨傘運動。

Representing Migration

What can other types of museums, such art museums, learn from migration museums about adapting their interpretation of their collections in a way that is relevant to concepts such as global migration and detachment of national identities?

Letting Your Community In

It’s so important for museums to be a local place intertwined and inseparable from local realities and issues. We are located in our communities, but we’re also a part of those communities. How do we, as museum professionals, define our place, our town, our city, our neighborhood, our community?

Is 'Community' a Meaningless Word?

Museums and cultural organizations are constantly being asked how effectively we’re serving our communities and how well we represent our community. Who are we talking about?

Defining & Valuing Community

We all belong to many communities, some that we define for ourselves and some that are defined for us. Our participation in certain communities might be deep, long-term, and really meaningful to us, while our involvement in other communities might be fairly thin and insignificant. How would museums see their positions within the communities and make a difference to the place that everyone belongs?

破損的背兒帶: 談博物館收藏與物件性質的轉變


Object Dialogue Boxes

This paper will present an emerging artistic practice that employs the unexpected and unfamiliar as minor provocations to stimulate enquiry-based learning in museums and galleries.

Eexploring LGBTQ histories

A new audio commentary tour exploring LGBTQ histories in the British Museum’s collection has just been launched. Head of Interpretation and Volunteers, Stuart Frost, highlights objects from the tour and looks at stories that, until recently, have been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.

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