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Forging memorable and multisensory museum visiting experiences : tangible interaction, co-design, digital fabrication and do-it-yourself approaches

Damala, Areti and Hornecker, Eva and Ruthven, Ian and Ciolfi, Luigina and Petrelli, Daniela (2014) Forging memorable and multisensory museum visiting experiences : tangible interaction, co-design, digital fabrication and do-it-yourself approaches. In: Digital Heritage 2014 : Digital Communities in Action, 2014-07-12, University of York.

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Though digital interactive technologies have become more common and widespread in museum exhibitions and spaces, they are usually detached from the museum artefacts on display and are primarily used as a communication medium targeting mainly the visitors’ visual and aural senses. However, a wealth of evidence suggests the benefits of multifaceted physical interaction with museum exhibitions and exhibits. Could smart objects and smart exhibits be interweaved with museum exhibitions and museum artefacts in order to create rich, multi-sensory museum narratives that would favour tangible interaction with the objects on display by stimulating and engaging the visitor physically but also emotionally and cognitively all by taking under consideration the physical, personal and social context of the visit? This contribution presents the meSch (Material Encounters with Cultural Heritage) EU project that aims to empower Cultural Heritage (CH) professionals to create tangible exhibits through the use of easy-to-use authoring tools that also cater for the reuse of content from public Cultural Heritage repositories. The project features a co-design approach in which communities of CH professionals as well as designers, artists and engineers work together to develop DIY (Do-It-Yourself) technologies for a new generation of smart, adaptive exhibits.