Unmanned exhibition sites
Immersive digital experiences at unmanned exhibition sites
1 June 2016 - 31 May 2019
Centralization and rationalization of museum operations in Denmark imply a decommissioning of smaller exhibition sites. An alternative to shutting down sites is to establish automated, unmanned sites where digital media can facilitate user-led museum experiences. This research project takes as its point of departure the design challenges that surface when museums develop unmanned operation of exhibition sites at historical landmarks, so the mediated museum experience is delivered in situ but via a technological platform. The Historical Museum of Northern Jutland hosts exhibition sites that act as testbeds for the project design, development and prototyping and as vehicles for data collection and extensive user studies. The project applies an exploratory design approach where user studies operate as a baseline from which preliminary concepts are designed, developed, analysed and evaluated in an iterative development process. In methodical terms, the design dimension applies action research, research through design and constructive design research, while user studies are conducted using a mixed method approach. Developing and applying general design principles and design guidelines, the project and its results offer guidelines for best practice that can be adopted when designing digital solutions for similar autonomous exhibition sites.