The Diary of Niels: Affective engagement through tangible interaction with museum artifacts

11/23/2020
by   Mette Muxoll Schou, et al.
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This paper presents a research through design exploration using tangible interactions in order to seamlessly integrate technology in a historical house museum. The study addresses a longstanding concern in museum exhibition design that interactive technologies may distract from the artifacts on display. Through an iterative design process including user studies, a co-creation workshop with museum staff and several prototypes, we developed an interactive installation called The Diary of Niels that combines physical objects, RFID sensors and an elaborate fiction in order to facilitate increased visitor engagement. Insights from the research process and user tests indicate that the integration of technology and artifacts is meaningful and engaging for users, and helps introduce museum visitors to the historic theme of the exhibition and the meaning of the artifacts. The study also points to continued challenges in integrating such hybrid experiences fully with the rest of the exhibition.

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