Facilitating meaningful visitor comments in an ideologically contested museum exhibition

Paper
Karin Ryding, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders Sundnes Løvlie, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Published paper: Monuments for a departed future: Designing for critical engagement with an ideologically contested museum collection

The increasing spread of smartphones gives new opportunities for museums dealing with ideologically contested collections. In this paper we explore how playful interactions and user comments can be used to encourage critical engagement with museum collections. This is done through a research through design experiment at the Museum of Yugoslavia, which houses the grave of the former communist leader Josep Tito. Building on earlier work by Mary Flanagan and Andrea Witcomb, we present a playful design that utilizes Artcodes to connect the physical museum exhibits with a digital experience of modernist monuments erected at various sites around the former territory of Yugoslavia during the socialist era. The design has been tested through two iterations on museum visitors and a group of experts on digital museum communication, leading to suggestions for future critical designs centered on playful intervention and poetic provocations.

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