[Design Thesis]1-2 Information in the Exhibit Spaces

What are the information in the exhibit space? I made a list of the various types of information in both art museum and botanical garden.

One thing that interests me most is “labels that elicit participation”. They are commonly seen in museums of science, kids or natural history in the form of instructions, guiding visitors to interact with installations. I think they should be more than instructions. Object labels can be labels that elicit participation, if they invite the visitors to ask questions, to start discussion or to do some experiments. The same for concept labels. It is interesting to explore how to achieve such effect and how to elicit participation or action by texts.

This sounds just like what people are doing in the advertisement and marketing industry–encourage audience to consume certain products. The viewing experience and watching commercials share some similarities: their audience are the public; they both design for the glance; both information providers wish that the audience could at least understand the essence of the information, and better, take actions. Museum could benefit from these businesses.

What makes the exhibit space interesting is the complexity of information and the depth of the interaction. Being in the museum is more than just passively looking. People look, move, discuss, ponder, make notes or sketches, sometimes touch, smell and listen. They might look at a painting at distance, then walk closer to see more. They make connections with their own experiences, the space and other visitors. All of these are small but fascinating interactions.

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I also look into the information in botanical garden because I found they share commonalities with the art museums. In the botanical garden, visitors read expanded information from labels. There are also audio guides and apps to support diversified interaction. Making comparisons in different public spaces helps me think about solutions for more than one space, but solutions that could scale up and be applied in different situations.info2

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