[Design Thesis] Introduction to Design Thesis

The initial idea for my thesis is “the future of books”. As an avid reader, I am curious about what people are going to read in the future. It’s a broad topic, but the essence of the inquiry is how people perceive, react to and recreate information in the digital age. After long discussions with professors and colleagues, I realized books are just one of the carriers of information in the human history. In the future, there will be more and more fancy carriers or medium to present information. What really matters is how to communicate the information to the audience in a meaningful, memorable and effective way in the world of “information anxiety.”

So I focused on places where intense information interaction takes place, such as email inbox, online forum, and museums. I prefer to spend more time in museums, and thus I summarize my thesis topic as “Engaging Information Interaction in Exhibit Spaces.”

I am interested in new ways of presenting information to the visitors in traditional exhibit spaces, such as art museums, botanical gardens, where information is usually presented statically to the visitors. How to better engage the visitors in the curated narration? How to invite the visitors to not just look at the artworks but participate in the viewing experience, or even take actions after the visit?

Technology might be the answer. In the ideal future, every visitor could get personalized information whenever wherever they want via advanced mobile devices and data mining technology; they could actively interact with the artifacts (paintings, sculptures or plants) with help of augmented reality or new projection technology. But what will be the first step towards this ideal future? How to leverage current technology to present information in an engaging way in the exhibition setting?

These are the questions that I am exploring in this nine-month thesis project.

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