Urban safari with meSch
meSch hosted a workshop at the conference Identity Matters on April 15 in Amsterdam. Identity is a fluid concept, changing in time and place. Cultural heritage can play an important role in shaping this identity, but how can institutions respond to this ever-evolving concept?
This was the key question at the end-conference of the RICHES project. Professionals from the cultural heritage field gathered for two days in the Volkshotel in Amsterdam to discuss matters about identity. The mornings were devoted to plenary presentations, while in the afternoons, participants were challenged to go on so-called urban safari’s. One of these urban safari’s went to Waag for a workshop with meSch partners.
The workshop started with various presentations from Dick van Dijk (Waag Society), Merel van der Vaart (Allard Pierson Museum) and Hub Kockelkorn (Museon) about the various exhibitions that were created with the meSch tools. Mark Marshall (University of Sheffield) demonstrated the meSch kit and how it can be used to prototype interactive exhibitions.
An interactive exhibition allows visitors to experience multiple perspectives on a single object, which creates a better understanding and enables visitors to identify themselves with a story or viewpoint during the exhibition. This also raises a number of questions, like how do you create these multiple layers? What kind of experiences do we want to give the visitor? How should the story be designed? The workshop participants were split up in two groups to create new ideas for the Allard Pierson Museum and Museon with these questions in mind.
Both groups started off with some very interesting discussions. For instance, when you design an exhibition you shouldn’t only take into account the technology, but also some very practical issues, like crowds, group visits etc. Most interactive exhibitions are designed for an individual experience, but how can you design something that depends on group dynamics? An example could be the number of people in a room, or a quest where you need to combine your perspective with the perspective of another visitor. From the meSch point of view, the design of this kind of interactions might be more challenging but at the same time very valuable to investigate further.