Designing inclusive and engaging structures to facilitate creativity and learning

The Museum for All People: International Congress on Art, Accessibility and Social Inclusion | Madrid, Spain | 4th April 2019

This presentation will describe and draw on several past and current projects to provide insights into the ways in which we can design technologies to engage people in meaningful learning experiences. It will focus on the design of novel structures for simple forms of creative interaction. These structures prompt audiences to create simple artefacts and in doing so provide space for new ways of thinking, reflection, and communication to emerge. We will consider how the potential of technology to engage and make a difference can be directed through participatory activities at different stages in the design and evaluation process.

Projects that will be described include: Out There and In Here, where networking and display technologies were harnessed in order to design an approach to engage distanced learners in collaborations with peers based in fieldwork locations; ArtMaps, in which open data from a museum collection was used as a starting point to produce a design that prompted audiences to think about the multiple connections that exist between places and artworks; and Our Journey, which provides a simple and accessible structure for individuals to express the important events that have occurred during their learning experiences.

Each of these projects aimed to lower barriers to active engagement, rather than expecting passive consumption of information. At the same time, these structures for engagement were designed to be open to diverse uses. They leave space for interpretation of how they are meant to be used, which opens them up to be shaped by the user’s situation and their own creativity. The ways in which these projects have been guided by an agenda for inclusion, rather than this being an afterthought, will hopefully provide inspiration.

Event URL: