The People vs Technology: A guide to harnessing playful tech to engage audiences in new ways

How-to Session
Jessica Taylor, Preloaded, UK, Hilary Knight, Tate, UK, Becky Menlove, Natural History Museum of Utah, USA, Dave Patten, Science Museum, UK

Published paper: The people vs. technology: A guide to harnessing playful tech to engage audiences in new ways

Playful tech is all around us. This professional forum takes inspiration from three recent ambitious playful technology implementations, and will explore the risks and rewards of embracing new and playful technology video games, VR, and AR, in order to drive deep audience engagement. In a practical session, attendees will learn how the speakers evaluated the decision to embrace the unknown in order to inspire and challenge audiences.

Speakers will include Becky Menlove (Associate Director for Visitor Experience, Natural History Museum of Utah), Dave Patten (Head of New Media, Science Museum Group), and Hilary Knight (Head of Content, Tate). The session will be chaired by Jessica Taylor, Managing Director of Preloaded.

Key focuses for discussion:
-How can technology intensify a user’s experience of museum interpretation and its mission? What are the intended impact/outcomes for audiences, and how can the technology support that?
– When is the right time to leap into the unknown with a new technology? How do you decide which technologies to adopt in-gallery to augment overarching curatorial objectives?
– How much risk does an institution take on when embarking on an ambitious new tech project, and how is this managed internally? How can tech sponsorship spearhead innovation and new approaches to interpretation?

Bibliography:
Inspirations: Gallery One, Cleveland Museum of Art; Cooper Hewitt Pen; Bloomberg Connects (Tate); Met Media Lab (2013-2016); Local Projects (9/11, City Pulse); Franklin Institute VR strategy; Whitney Biennale (Jordan Wolfson exhibit)