Put Down the Clipboard:Visitor Feedback as Participatory Activity

Museum 2.0

Stacey has been collaborating with local artists to produce a series of content-rich events that invite visitors to participate in a range of hands-on activities. Instead, Stacey thought, why not make the feedback experience an activity unto itself? While I'm sure it repelled some introverts, the performative aspect of this activity encouraged many participants to thoughtfully construct and present their thoughts.

This is What the Participatory Museum Sounds Like

Museum 2.0

The activity is clear and well-scaffolded. This is the participatory museum, played out loud. creative placemaking Museum of Art and History participatory museum usercontent visitorsIt's late in the afternoon. I'm cranking away on a grant proposal, when suddenly, a classical rendition of "All the Single Ladies" wafts up the stairs. In the office, colleagues lift their heads. "Is Is that.?" someone asks. Yup," another nods. We grin.

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17 Ways We Made our Exhibition Participatory

Museum 2.0

It is multi-disciplinary, incorporates diverse voices from our community, and provides interactive and participatory opportunities for visitor involvement. This post focuses on one aspect of the exhibition: its participatory and interactive elements. With one exception, no single activity cost more than $30 to produce/maintain. Pull up an armchair for a tour of our participatory hits, misses, and related discoveries. This activity is a bit of a conundrum.

Great Participatory Processes are Open, Discoverable, and Unequal

Museum 2.0

He casts the whole idea of a great jazz jam in the context of the tragedy of the commons--like a poetry open mic, the jazz club is a community whose experience is fabulous or awful depending on the extent to the culture cultivates and enforces a healthy participatory process. When I think about what makes for great participatory experiences in both poetry open mics and jazz jams, it comes down to three basic things: The process is open.

Balancing Engagement: Adventures in Participatory Exhibit Labels

Museum 2.0

We decided to approach the label-writing for these boards in a participatory way. We can certainly write a decent label based on this activity. It was the activity that drew this person (and probably others) to the surfboards—not the objects themselves. You could argue that visitors are more “engaged” by an activity that invites inquiry-based participation than one that invites them to read a label, even if they never get answers to their questions.

One Simple Question to Make Your Work More Participatory

Museum 2.0

This is the question I ask myself anytime I'm working on something with a participatory intent. But even developing that open call was a participatory process: Wes worked with other staff to think through how the residencies could work. This open call project may sound like one that is uniquely suited for participatory input. All of these activities involve ongoing collaboration and co-creation with people beyond the staff member(s) responsible.

12 Ways We Made our Santa Cruz Collects Exhibition Participatory

Museum 2.0

This exhibition represents a few big shifts for us: We used a more participatory design process. Our previous big exhibition, All You Need is Love, was highly participatory for visitors but minimally participatory in the development process. Instead of a total budget of $200 for participatory elements, we spent about $4,000 on materials for participatory elements in this exhibition. Without further ado, here's what we did to make the exhibition participatory.

Participatory Moment of Zen: Diverse Visitor Contributions Add Up to Empathy

Museum 2.0

This person is writing about a participatory element (the "pastport") that we included in the exhibition Crossing Cultures. Each of these activities invited contribution on a different level. design exhibition Museum of Art and History participatory museum usercontent Whoever wrote this comment card: thank you. You made my month.

Adventures in Participatory Audience Engagement at the Henry Art Gallery

Museum 2.0

In 2009 , students built a participatory exhibit from scratch. Thirteen students produced three projects that layered participatory activities onto an exhibition of artwork from the permanent collection of the Henry Art Gallery. What I Learned Part 1: Facilitation is Powerful When I taught this class the first time, I put a real premium on the idea of designing participatory activities that were visitor-driven and required minimal or no facilitation.

Getting in on the Act: New Report on Participatory Arts Engagement

Museum 2.0

Last month, the Irvine Foundation put out a new report, Getting In On the Act , about participatory arts practice and new frameworks for audience engagement. Authors Alan Brown and Jennifer Novak-Leonard pack a lot into 40 pages--an argument for the rise of active arts engagement, a framework for thinking about ways to actively involve audiences, and lots of case studies. participatory museum usercontent business models

Fundraising as Participatory Practice: Myths, Realities, Possibilities

Museum 2.0

As a designer, I'm always trying to ensure that participatory activities, however casual, impact both the participant and the organization. If fundraisers are so keen on relationships, why weren't they the first into social media and participatory projects on behalf of their organizations? Interestingly, in the participatory design model I'm more familiar with on the Web and in collaborative project design, the fundamental issues are different.

Developing a Participatory, Provocative History Project at a Small Museum in Minnesota: Interview with Mary Warner

Museum 2.0

Earlier this year, I was fascinated to read the account of a participatory project at the Morrison County Historical Society in Minnesota, in which community members were invited to write essays about “what’s it like” to have various life experiences in the County. We’re an actively collecting museum, and we’re always thinking about how we can take an inclusive approach with the artifacts and archives we collect. interview participatory museum inclusion

Enabling a Participatory Culture using Creative Commons Licenses

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Enabling a Participatory Culture using Creative Commons Licenses by Gautam John. It was at this point that we had a moment of realization – that reading is an extremely social activity and that there are communities and organizations who were more than ready to help us achieve our goals. Photo by Pratham Books: Snapshots from Bookaroo 2010 : Children's Literature Festival.

Self-Expression is Overrated: Better Constraints Make Better Participatory Experiences

Museum 2.0

When I talk about designing participatory experiences, I often show the above graphic from Forrester Research. These are all active social endeavors that contribute positive value to the social Web. Museums see open-ended self-expression as the be-all of participatory experiences. Allowing visitors to select their favorite exhibits in a gallery or comment on the content of the labels isn’t seen as valuable a participatory learning experience as producing their own content.

What Could Kill an Elegant, High-Value Participatory Project?

Museum 2.0

It's my "artistic rendering" of one of the most inspirational participatory projects I know of--the Bibliotheek Haarlem Oost book drops. Too often, cultural institutions design participatory projects that require visitors to learn new tools or make sacrifices to contribute. After I got over my shock (and the urge to delete the email), I realized that this depressing coda is a great illustration of the challenges of sustaining participatory projects.

The Participatory Nonprofit?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Another point of intersection here for me is Henry Jenkins recently published 72-page white paper " Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century." A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection to one another.

What I Learned from Beck (the rock star) about Participatory Arts

Museum 2.0

Beck''s project is unusual because he deliberately resurrected a mostly-defunct participatory platform: sheet music for popular songs. In his thoughtful preface to this project, I reconnected with five lessons I''ve learned from participatory projects in museums and cultural sites. In my experience, the best participatory experiences are as constrained and clear as possible in the invitation offered, and as open-ended as possible in the outcome generated.

The Johnny Cash Project: A Participatory Music Video That Sings

Museum 2.0

This question is a byproduct of the reality that most participatory projects have poorly articulated value. When a participatory activity is designed without a goal in mind, you end up with a bunch of undervalued stuff and nowhere to put it. But the best participatory projects don't suffer from this problem, because they solicit visitors' contributions toward a very specific outcome. It's not just a personal activity; it's an opportunity to be part of something.

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Participatory Design Vs. Design for Participation: Exploring the Difference

Museum 2.0

Which of these descriptions exemplifies participatory museum practice? But the difference between the two examples teases out a problem in differentiating "participatory design" from "design for participation." In the first case, you are making the design process participatory. In the second, you make the product participatory. Is an exhibit participatory if no visitor sees a place for her own contribution? Tags: design participatory museum Pop quiz!

Making Museum Tours Participatory: A Model from the Wing Luke Asian Museum

Museum 2.0

The new building was designed to meet neighborhood needs--not just in the content covered, but in the inclusion of spaces made for particular kinds of activities sought by locals (i.e. She did several things over the course of the tour to make it participatory, and she did so in a natural, delightful way. But participatory facilitation can be taught. What kind of participatory techniques have you seen work well on tours?

What Happens When a Viral Participatory Project is Too Successful? Diagnosing the Power of the Love Locks

Museum 2.0

And so, one of the most successful, accidental, and fraught participatory projects of the past decade comes to an end. No one planned the love locks, but their success is rooted in the same principles that make all the best participatory projects work: it requires no instructions beyond its own example. So many participatory projects do the opposite, requiring you to take a dozen tricky steps to no meaningful end.

The Participatory Museum Process Part 2: Participants' Experiences

Museum 2.0

This is the second in a four-part series about writing The Participatory Museum. Several hundred people contributed their opinions, stories, suggestions, and edits to The Participatory Museum as it was written. Many people wrote at length about their passion for participatory design and their desire to contribute to what they saw as an important resource that would "help advance the field." Tags: Book: The Participatory Museum

The Participatory Museum Process Part 3: My Experience

Museum 2.0

This is the third in a four-part series about writing The Participatory Museum. This post covers my personal process of encouraging--and harnessing--participation in the creation of The Participatory Museum. Writing the book on a wiki helped me imagine that there were people out there who actively wanted and were expecting more content. It was obvious that there were people who were inclined to help but for whom the wiki or the content review activity was not appealing.

Thoughts on 3six5, a Successful Participatory Project

Museum 2.0

Yesterday, I had the delightful opportunity to participate in the 3six5 project , a yearlong participatory project in which 365 people write 365 journal entries for every day of 2010. 3six5 has all the hallmarks of a good participatory project: It offers an enjoyable activity that is scaffolded by simple specifications without prescribing any particular result.

Four Models for Active User Engagement, by Nina Simon

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Nina has written a fantastic book engagement called The Participatory Museum. A third argues that the project won’t be truly participatory unless users get to define what content is sought in the first place. I’ve been using these participatory categories to talk about how we’d like users to participate in different projects. Participatory projects are most successful when you can find the right model for your staff culture, your users, and your goals.

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Guest Post by Nina Simon -- Self-Expression is Overrated: Better Constraints Make Better Participatory Experiences

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

When I talk about designing participatory experiences, I often show the above graphic from Forrester Research. These are all active social endeavors that contribute positive value to the social Web. Museums see open-ended self-expression as the be-all of participatory experiences. Allowing visitors to select their favorite exhibits in a gallery or comment on the content of the labels isn’t seen as valuable a participatory learning experience as producing their own content.

Why Are So Many Participatory Experiences Focused on Teens?

Museum 2.0

Over the past year, I've noticed a strange trend in the calls I receive about upcoming participatory museum projects: the majority of them are being planned for teen audiences. And while I enjoy working with youth and consuming their creations as a museum visitor, I'd like to call into question the idea that they are or should be the primary audience for participatory experiences. Why are teens over-represented in participatory projects?

Avoiding the Participatory Ghetto: Are Museums Evolving with their Innovative Web Strategies?

Museum 2.0

I’d never attended before and was impressed by many very smart, international people doing radical projects to make museum collections and experiences accessible and participatory online. Are participatory activities happening on the web because that is the best place for them? Or is the web the dumping ground for activities too messy or uncomfortable to do onsite? Where are the friendly, open, participatory experiences you came for?

The Participatory Museum Process Part 1: Overview and Statistics

Museum 2.0

This is the first of a four-part series on the behind-the-scenes experience of writing The Participatory Museum. Overview: Stages of Development and Participation Types The Participatory Museum was written over a 15 month period that began in December of 2008. 65 people participated on the wiki, though the vast majority of the activity came from a core group of 15 (more on that below). Tags: Book: The Participatory Museum

What a Difference a Prompt Makes. Simple Analysis of a Participatory Exhibit Element

Museum 2.0

We decided to show a selection of Danny's lists in a hallway surrounded by a participatory element where we invite visitors to contribute to new lists on evocative themes ("Things we forget," "The best feelings in the world," etc.) This activity has been incredibly popular, and about every three weeks we replace one of the lists with a fresh copy so there is always space for some new contributors.

Does the Internet Inspire Youth Activism or Slacktivism?

Frogloop

They are viewed as techies and quite fickle when it comes to activism. “We found that being part of online participatory communities tied to youth interests, political or not, exposes youth to a greater degree of diverse viewpoints and issues and is related to higher levels of civic engagement,&# said Joseph Kahne, one of the contributors to the study. Youth Activism Key Findings: Being a part of online communities promotes engagement.

Want to Activate Public Space? We're Hiring. And Some Thoughts on Iteration and Temporary Positions

Museum 2.0

For the past two years, I''ve been working on a project to activate the concrete space adjacent to our museum as a vibrant, community plaza. We are hiring a temporary contract curator to activate the plaza this summer with 25+ cultural events. The ideal candidate has a good grasp of our local artistic assets in Santa Cruz County, a knack for participatory placemaking, and enthusiasm about putting on a show.

Participatory Campaigns: The Hold A Sign Meme

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

I personally really like any activism that includes individual expression like this (like www.sorryeverybody.com ) If someone gets out the crayons and makes a sign, they are definitely engaged in your cause. Consumer-solicited media (CSM): "Participatory media" -- that's what the flickr contests above are! The youtube video is from Star Bucks Campaign.

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What Do You Need to Make the Argument for Participatory Design?

Museum 2.0

As many of you know, I’m writing a book about participatory design for museums. The book is intended to be a practical guide to participatory museum experiences focused on design strategies, case studies, and activities. I believe that demystifying participatory design and encouraging professionals to try it is the most important step towards its evolution as a museum practice. The WHY of participatory design is really important.

Postcards as a Call to Action: A Powerful, Political Participatory Experience at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

Museum 2.0

The best participatory projects are useful. Rather than just doing an activity, visitors should be able to contribute in a way that provides a valuable outcome for the institution and the wider museum audience. The participatory activity in question is part of the new Unfinished Business gallery, a room in which the museum engages with a contemporary issue related to the passion and work of Jane Addams and the historic Hull-House activist residents.

Lessons in Participatory Design from SFMOMA's Exhibition on (you guessed) The Art of Participation

Museum 2.0

The Art of Participation provides a retrospective on participatory art as well as presenting opportunities for visitors to engage in contemporary (“now”) works. While many of the artifacts of historical art pieces are arresting, the pieces of “now” form an exciting testbed for gallery-based participatory engagement, albeit in a meta way around the topic of participation. DON’T make the participatory activity too narrow or difficult. Here are two pictures.

Get on the Bus: How Mass Transit Design Affects Participatory Potential

Museum 2.0

Specifically, we analyze the relative social behavior of people on buses versus those on trains, and look for clues as to what design elements contribute to different kinds of participatory behavior. Stopping is a human-powered activity. Buses don't employ drivers or operate on city streets to improve the comfort and participatory experience of riding. Tags: participatory museum Unusual Projects and Influences comfort There's a tag applied to many Museum 2.0

Will They Play in Pyongyang? Culture, Geography, and Participation

Museum 2.0

I saw how participatory techniques were working in diverse museums around the world. While they may not be as comfortable as Americans with "me" experiences, they are much more up for "we" activities. Here are two observations about visitor participation: Participatory activities invite people to engage in new ways that may disrupt traditional norms of interaction. In this frame, any kind of participatory activity could work, anywhere.

Case Study: A Participatory Road Trip takes the SJMA on a Wild Ride

Museum 2.0

I was captivated by Chris Alexander 's story about participatory online/onsite efforts at the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA). And in the same way that we struggle to define success metrics other than visitation for a variety of museum activities, we need to think about what "success" and "value" mean in this context. After all, as naysayers of participatory design often remind me, the museum is not a popularity contest.

Platform Power: Scaling Impact

Museum 2.0

This argument became one of the foundations of The Participatory Museum. This is the participatory platform model. Our staff could never produce all this activity on our own. And it puts the MAH at the center of the web of activity, as a valued partner and platform provider. design exhibition inclusion institutional change Museum of Art and History participatory museum programs relationships

The 2016 - 2017 Best Nonprofit Conferences Calendar

EveryAction

The Digital Media and Learning Conference is meant to be an inclusive, international and annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in the field, focused on fostering interdisciplinary and participatory dialogue and linking theory, empirical study, policy, and practice. The Madison Nonprofit Day Conference is a one-day conference jammed pack with ~30 workshop sessions, networking, exhibits, lunch, and a variety of activities.

Participation, Contemplation, and the Complexity of "And"

Museum 2.0

And a good thing, too." --Elaine Heumann Gurian, The Importance of "And" Recently, I''ve been embroiled in local and national conversations about the relationship between active participation and quiet contemplation in museums. Our museum in Santa Cruz has been slammed by those who believe participatory experiences have gone too far. We always knew that the inclusion of participatory and community-centered practices in arts institutions was controversial.

New Approach, Historic Mission: Remaking a Factory Museum via Community Co-Production

Museum 2.0

It''s clear from the diversity of activities, the professionalism of the scaffolding, and the forms of access that they are serious about inviting meaningful participation in the Re:Make project. A strong participatory process is not a loosey-goosey, open the doors and do whatever strategy. It''s not a question of the participatory process being unidirectional, something that we are doing for you the community. design inclusion institutional change participatory museum