Jane Alexander, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA, Theodore Watson, Design IO LLC, USA
Museums can employ innovative, active technology to develop barrier-free access to museum collections. The Cleveland Museum of Art presents the new Studio Play interactive space as a case study for developing visitor-centered, visually-focused engagement. The new Studio Play is a manifestation of human-centered design, focusing on ways that screens can become irrelevant as users employ technology to further their creativity and curiosity.
The CMA team, working with Design I/O, considered the intricacies of designing interactives that feel relevant for a broad range of audiences, from school age children, to teens, to adults. By focusing on technology as a platform rather than technology for technology’s sake, we have attempted to move past the screen-time debate into kinesthetic and action-based experiences. CMA and Design I/O designed a suite of experiences that allowed visitors to connect with the artwork in the museum, and to the creative process of making art. By adding sensor technology, and limiting a touch-screen interface, Studio Play creates an immersive experience for visitors.
Studio Play was designed to be barrier free; the transition between observation and interaction is seamless and effortless. The touch-screen interfaces that may limit access for nonreaders or frustrate non-tech-savvy visitors are gone. Instead, the technology is exquisitely responsive to user movement and is accessible for all.
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