As mentioned in a previous post I am currently attending The Connected Audience Conference, organised by KulturAgenda and the Jewish Museum Berlin. While I wasn’t sure what to expect I found the first day’s sessions stimulating and inspiring.
John Falk’s talk, The wiring of the medium may be new but the users’ wiring is old, reminded us that while technologies easily connect us with people, the wiring of the human brain hasn’t changed much in a long time. His talk was filled with many riches, and I have attempted to summarise the key points:
- Need to understand the nature of people and how they make meaning, which is built upon prior knowledge and experience
- Emotion is critical to mental processing
- Memories change over time, unlike photos that are consistent
- We all make sense of world in ways that make sense to us – specifically to ME
- The ways people use museums has a cultural basis to it and our expectations of leisure has changed in the last 10 years
- Learning is social, even if the experience is not social
- Museums’ are strange and special environments – lots of what happens at beginning of visit is visitors’ getting used to these different spaces we call “museums”, figure out how to use technology
- Good design really does make a difference – physical settings are critical, even more so when we include various “technologies”
- No matter the technology visitor motivations will still be driven by prior interests and experiences, emotional content and identity-related needs, as well as how we make sense of the world/frame our experiences based on unique cultural value and belief systems
- Museum experience doesn’t begin when person walk through the door
- The museum experience is a negotiation, or contract, between the museum and visitors, so we need to evaluate success and outcomes based on the visitor not what we wanted to achieve
- Museums are based/built on 19th century principles of industrial age – what relevance does that have in the 21st century?
- At the end of the day museums are not designed for the 21st century visitor…
There were also several other fascinating talks which I will post separtely when I have collected my thoughts so look out!