Master thesis project by Aitana Kugeler
Looking to improve the visitor experience while also bridging the gap between staff and visitors, I designed experience based suggestions for Luxembourg’s National Museum of History and Art based on a participatory design process. Part of the final proposals are visitor brochures, elements for navigation, and an interactive museum guide called ‘Get Lost in the Museum’ that invites visitors to explore the museum’s collections in a playful manner.
“One can design what seems to be the most wonderful exhibition, but if no one looks at it, or it doesn’t meet some visitors interests and needs at the time, it isn’t wonderful.” John Falk & Lynn Dierking, The Museum Experience Revisited, 2013
My enthusiasm for culture has led me to wonder how I could combine my profession as social designer with my passion as museum goer. Diving deeper into the matter, I found that the evolution towards participation in design mirrors the transformation in museology, which I became really interested in.
The overall project follows a participatory design perspective. It is based on the need for museums to stay relevant as public institutions in a challenging twenty-first century while engaging audiences in the process.
I therefore designed and conducted different design interventions (a feedback stand for example), generative workshops, probes, interviews, probing and testing sessions with the museum staff and visitors.
The biggest learning for me was to differentiate between client work and personal work and how much they should overlap/be separated from each other.
My design proposals solve multiple problematics identified together with the audiences and museum staff. The final designs help the museum in bringing their visitors closer to the collection, making it easier for visitors to find themselves within the museum and ultimately serving the visitor with an improved museum experience.
On top of that my collaboration hopefully served as a starting point for the museum staff to question and think about their role and approach in this.
Collaboration partner: National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg (MNHA)
Supervisors: Lars Hoff-Lund, Canan Akoglu
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