In the two cases discussed in this article, the participative pieces propose an exchange of comments between visitors (not necessarily at the exhibition space at the same time), artists, pieces exhibited, exhibition and museum. This exchange enriches the experience of the visit.
The two case studies are Keskustelukartta (Conversational Map), an installation in Taidehalli, Helsinki during an exhibition at the Young Art Biennale entitled Small Heaven, and Äänijälki (Sound Trace), a participatory audio guide at Ateneum Museum, Helsinki.
In this study, the concept of participative design pieces is a way to connect interactive pieces in a museum to the collaborative design process in which they were conceived. The term “participatory design” is used here to discuss on-line and on-site pieces that pool resources.
What makes these participative pieces aesthetically appealing? Participative pieces in this context are intended to be tools for accessibility as there is no aesthetic experience if the visitor cannot engage with the exhibited work. These participative design pieces are tools for inclusion that encourage visitors to actively generate content. To this end, these pieces should be understandable and accessible, coherent, multimodal and multilingual; they should draw on familiarity with something previously known, and be attractive, challenging and surprising. They should allow for improvisation and contemplate the social interactions that take place in the exhibition space.
|Keywords:||Aesthetics, Museums, Participative Design Pieces, Visitor-Generated Content, Participation, Accessibility|
Research Assistant/ Doctoral Student, Media Lab, University of Art and Design Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
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