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Tuesday, December 3 • 12:00pm - 12:15pm
Mechanics of Wonder: Scripting Visitor Experiences with Technology

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We describe an experiment using digital technology to influence visitors' movements, motivations and meaning making. The exhibition Panopticon: Experimental Tales of Jeremy Bentham explored the life, influence and radical ideas of the 18th Century philosopher, best known for the prison he designed, the Panopticon. The exhibition ran during August and September 2013 at UCL in London. We augmented historical documents and images with digital projections to create multiple narrative sequences using lighting and interpretive text, in order to influence visitor meaning making and engineer a sense of wonder using narrative storytelling structures. This follows from research on visitor-generated trails (Walker, 2013), but inverts the principle by imposing particular trails in a top-down curatorial fashion. Visitor movements were tracked using a 3D depth camera to provide quantitative data, and meaning making was evaluated using Personal Meaning Making, an established method for generating qualitative data (Falk, 2003). As an experimental setting, the exhibition was held in a small space and the number of exhibited objects was limited to a small number in order to be retained in visitors' short-term memory, following Miller (1956); access to the exhibition was restricted to individual and small groups of visitors at a time, each of which were timed. The data is to be analysed by comparing the qualitative with quantitative data to evaluate the extent to which each visitor followed the curated narrative, and the extent to which their knowledge and understanding changed as a result. Motivation is analysed using the model of Csikszentmihalyi and Hermanson (1999). We will present our results for the first time at NODEM 2013.

avatar for Kevin Walker

Kevin Walker

Head of Information Experience Design, Royal College of Art
Kevin Walker leads the new Information Experience Design programme at the Royal College of Art in London (http://ied.rca.ac.uk). He is a researcher, designer, writer and artist working at the boundaries of digital and physical – specifically in curation and computation in physical... Read More →

Tuesday December 3, 2013 12:00pm - 12:15pm PST
Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Apollon Guldgränd 8 Box 15270, Stockholm, 10465, Sweden

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