A description of the issue/problem that you are trying to address

  • Many museums are moving towards a digital display approach where visitors interact with screens that can show a huge variety of information. However, this experience can be widely easily repeated on a laptop, so how can exhibits distinguish their digital displays from this. One approach is to simply have larger screens (ie: projection, theater style settings, LED displays) but that is a flat 2d experience. Additionally, if this breaks down, there is a large obstruction in the exhibit that offers no additional value for the visitor.
  • How do we integrate technology into exhibits in a way that can add value, but if taken offline, does not actively subtract from the experience?
  • Hardware integration into museums that are nonspecific (ie: can be modular and adapted in many ways to different exhibits that has the same flexibility that screens will have)
  • How can we keep physical engagement in the center of a museum’s experience
  • References:
  • Science Museum, London. Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery.
  • Has a series of integrated science exhibits that can appeal to both adults and children. Displays with a highly technological backing that demonstrates core concepts in the physical world
  • Mirrors, LED, massive human scale turntables with the solar system, friction slides, and other builds
  • MIT Museum, Terraform display (The one with blocks and sand, with a projection)
  • Lascaux IV Remaking and displaying the caves with current technology, allowing people to touch extracted models from the cave
  • Tactile (or even textile) sensing and actuation technology from CDFG in CSAIL

The envisioned audience for your project

First time and repeat museum visitors Accessibility target- interacting with new technology in ways other than screens

Potential museum collaborators (currently MFA; Harvard Art Museums, MIT-Museum, and others are possible as well)

MIT museum (as a starting point), moving into future exhibition designs

Technological/spatial/installation approach (if part of the project)

A technological demonstration of modular displays or supporting technology to current exhibitions

Skill sets needed for your project

Curation, pedagogical design, hardware and workshopping/prototyping