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SXSW Interactive 2014

Museums and Mothballs: Reinventing the Experience

Each year, there are nearly 1 billion visits to museums in the US alone. These spectacular institutions are tasked with preserving objects of cultural significance to the public in ways that illuminate our collective past, highlight our creative present, and inspire our future. We contemplate what it means to be human beings within those walls.

If all of this is true, why has the experience of visiting a museum become so... boring? On-demand access to information is fundamentally changing the way we seek and internalize knowledge, creating a great opportunity for museums and similar cultural institutions to rethink themselves.

Using Stanford d.School Design Thinking process and E-180’s approach to matchmaking for knowledge-sharing, we invite participants to rethink their institution's onsite engagement strategy, focusing on content and human interactions. This is a collaborativem four hour long workshop, where participants will create a prototype of a new product to test with their users.

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  1. Even though we are compelled to visit them, why do our museum experiences tend to fall flat?
  2. Should technology be used to augment visitor experience in museums and similar cultural institutions? If so, how?
  3. Beyond phones, tablets and even Google Glass, what future technologies can we look to to further enhance the future of the museum-going experience?
  4. Is Augmented reality a panacea when it comes to energizing the museum experience?
  5. What can be the role of peer interactions in the visitors’ experience?



Christine Renaud, CEO, E-180, Inc.

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