EXPLORATIVE MUSEUM EXPERIENCES - AAU experience to avoid disney¯¬¾cation and formal...

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Transcript of EXPLORATIVE MUSEUM EXPERIENCES - AAU experience to avoid disney¯¬¾cation and formal...


    - a collaborative experience design process for explorative museum exhibitions

    by Kristina Maria Madsen

    Dissertation submitted August 2019

  • Dissertation submitted: August 2019 PhD supervisor: Prof. Jens F. Jensen

    Aalborg University, Denmark

    Assistant PhD supervisor: Associate Prof. Mette Skov Aalborg University, Denmark

    PhD committee: Associate Prof. Søren Bolvig Poulsen Aalborg University, Denmark

    Associate Prof. Anne-Louise Bang

    Design School Kolding, Denmark Associate Prof. Arnold Vermeeren

    TU Delft, Netherlands

    PhD Series: Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University

    ISSN: xxxx- xxxx ISBN: xxx-xx-xxxx-xxx-x

    Published by: Aalborg University Press Skjernvej 4A, 2nd floor DK – 9220 Aalborg Ø Phone: +45 99407140 aauf@forlag.aau.dk forlag.aau.dk

    © Copyright by Kristina Maria Madsen

    Printed in Denmark by Rosendahls, 2019



    Kristina Maria Madsen received her master’s in information technology and experience design from Aalborg University in 2015. Shortly thereafter, she started working as a research assistant before beginning work as an exhibition and communications assistant at an art institution. In 2016, she became a PhD Fellow at the Department of Communication & Psychology at Aalborg University, which is affiliated with the research centre for Interactive Digital Media & Experience Design (InDiMedia). Her research interest is in the intersection between experience design and exhibition design for cultural heritage. Kristina’s research focuses on exploring experience design as a design approach for designing exhibitions that enhance learning potential through exploration. She has published on such topics as ‘experience design’, ‘museum exhibitions’, ‘exploration’, ‘emergent narratives’, ‘experiential learning’, ‘collaborative design’ in international journals and conferences.

    During the past three years, Kristina has been teaching and supervising bachelor’s and master’s students at Aalborg University. She has disseminated findings from her PhD research for both academic peers and stakeholders.

    In her PhD dissertation, Kristina studied the use of experience design in a museum exhibition context as an approach for designing explorative exhibitions.


  • ii


    Through this dissertation, I have approached the challenges of balancing the enlightenment and experiences presented to museum institutions by the experience economy from an experience design perspective in collaboration with a smaller Danish museum. In the dissertation, it is my hypothesis that designing for explorative user interactions in exhibition design, enlightenment and experience can be balanced. Furthermore, I hypothesise that IT-based experience design can be a useful design approach for said explorative interactions due to its holistic characteristics and inclusive scope, which borrows design criteria from other fields of design. As such, the research was guided by the following research question:

    How can principles of IT-based experience design guide the design, implementation and evaluation of an explorative museum exhibition?

    The goal was to identify key criteria and principles for these types of design processes through a series of experiments that collectively sought to expand and add to the existing field of knowledge within museum experience design. Thus, knowledge was generated that can bridge the gap between theory and the practice of applying experience design as a collaborative design process for exhibition making.

    Through my research, and in collaboration with the Limfjord Museum, I have explored the potentials of learning through experiences via an experience design perspective and a collaborative design process, one which was informed and guided by principles of experience design. Furthermore, through this research, I have applied criteria of emergent narratives – user-mindset, agency, storification and narrative closure – to the exhibition design to create a space for exploration, with the argument that users should be more active participants in creating their own experiences and narratives to encourage informal learning, instead of more passively receiving predefined and structured narratives. The criteria for exploration defined in the dissertation both created the foundation for designing for exploration and identified and evaluated explorative user interactions through four strategies for emergent user interactions: two were design-driven, by Design and by Redesign; and two were design user-driven, Creative Play and by Hacking.

    In the dissertation, I have shown how collaborative design processes can be guided with experience design for exhibition making and how collaboration in this process creates a foundation for balancing content and form for exploration by integrating the work of museum professionals and design researchers throughout the design process.


  • I have shown how explorative museum experience has the potential to both balance enlightenment and experience and support the informal learning experience. When designing for exploration, is not a third perspective in the enlightenment–experience dichotomy, but an approach to dissolve the conflict and balance enlightenment and experience to avoid disneyfication and formal learning. Thus, designing purposeful exhibitions provides users with the opportunity for meaning making through their active participation in the museum experience. These contributions are condensed into a theoretical framework, the ExD-framework, which is grounded in my experiments and aimed at designing for exploration with experience design.

    This research was conducted for a PhD project partly funded by the Department of Communication & Psychology at Aalborg University, in association with the research centre, Interactive Digital Media and Experience Design; and partly funded by the national research programme, Our Museum, which consists of 13 research projects representing five Danish universities and eight museums, one of which was the collaborative museum explored in this research project: the small Danish maritime museum, Limfjordsmuseet (the Limfjord Museum). Part of the research was conducted during a research stay at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in Melbourne, Australia.



    Igennem denne afhandling undersøger jeg udfordringen i at afbalancere oplysning og oplevelse, som museumsinstitutionerne er blevet stillet overfor i forlængelse af oplevelsesøkonomi fra et oplevelsesdesign-perspektiv i samarbejde med et mindre dansk museum. I afhandlingen er det min hypotese, at hvis der designes udforskende brugerinteraktioner i udstillingsdesign, skabes der potentiale for at afbalancere oplysning og oplevelse. Derudover antages det, at IT-baseret oplevelsesdesign kan være en nyttig måde at designe udforskende brugerinteraktion, på grund af oplevelsesdesigns holistiske designtilgang, der låner kriterier for design fra andre designtilgange. Baseret herpå guides forskningen af følgende forskningsspørgsmål:

    Hvordan kan principper for IT-baseret oplevelsesdesign guide design, implementering og evaluering af udforskende museumsudstillinger?

    Ambitionen har været at identificere kriterier og principper for disse typer designprocesser gennem en række eksperimenter, der kollektivt søger at udvide og tilføje til det eksisterende vidensområde inden for museum experience design. Herigennem blev der generet viden til at forbinde teori og praksis, i applikationen af oplevelsesdesign til en kollaborativ designproces for udstillingsdesign.

    Jeg har udforsket disse udfordringer ud fra et oplevelsesdesignperspektiv i samarbejde med Limfjordsmuseet for at undersøge mulighederne for oplevelsesbaseret læring. En samarbejdsproces informeret og guidet af principper for oplevelsesdesign. Desuden har jeg gennem denne forskning appliceret kriterier for emergent narratives: user-mindset, agency, storification og narrative closure til udstillingsdesignet for at skabe rum for opdagelse og udforskning. Argumentet er at gøre brugerne aktive deltagere i deres egne oplevelser for at skabe deres egen erfaring og fortælling for at fremme uformel læring fremfor passivt at modtage en foruddefineret og struktureret fortælling. Kriterierne for opdagelse defineret i afhandlingen skabte både grundlaget for at designe for opdagelse samt identifikation og evaluering af udforskende brugerinteraktioner gennem fire strategier for emergent user interactions. To er design-drevne: by Design og by Redesign. Og to er bruger-drevne: Creative Play og by Hacking.

    I afhandlingen har jeg vist, hvordan kollaborative designprocesser kan guides ved hjælp af oplevelsesdesign til udstillingsudvikling, og hvordan samarbejdet i denne proces skaber grundlag for at afbalancere indhold og form for opdagelse ved at have museumsfagfolk og designforskere til at samarbejde gennem hele designprocessen.


  • Jeg har vist, hvordan opdagende museumsoplevelser har potentialet til både at afbalancere oplysning og oplev