Person, place, performance: an interaction design framework to conceptualise on-site mixed reality experiences in museums

Mishra, Abhinav (2024) Person, place, performance: an interaction design framework to conceptualise on-site mixed reality experiences in museums. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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As visitor-centric and performativity-oriented museums increasingly adopt mixed reality (MR) to enrich visitor experiences through immersion and interactivity over the physical environment, experience designers and curators face unique challenges when effectively incorporating these technologies into the museum settings. This research aims to address this need by developing a framework supporting the design and conceptualisation of MR experiences within a museum setting. Adopting an interpretivist stance and guided by pragmatist leanings, this study uses a multi-method qualitative approach, gathering perspectives through literature reviews, archival research, expert interviews, case studies, and iterative workshops. The thesis consists of three parts: a literature review that provides theoretical underpinnings for the thesis, an investigation into motivations, challenges and learnings for designers adopting MR in museums, and the development of the framework and iterative improvement of its communication through scenario-based ideation workshops. These workshops were conducted in collaboration with professionals from the Natural History Museum (NHM), London.

The research culminates in the creation of a novel person, place, and performance framework synthesising critical design aspects for MR in museums. The person-centric perspective focuses on aligning interactions with visitor behaviours in a museum space to ensure immersive, interactive engagement. The place-centric lens prompts leveraging the museum's spatiality to contextualise and anchor the MR content. The performance-centric view advocates for integrating narrative and dramaturgical techniques to shape MR experiences as encounters. Consequently, the framework’s knowledge is encapsulated and operationalised in the form of prompt cards that can be used in ideation and brainstorming for museum MR experiences. Validation with museum partners and stakeholders demonstrates the practical applicability of the framework and the prompt cards. The multifaceted approach developed in this thesis provides the first framework that targets the design of performative MR exhibits in museums and encapsulates learnings from professionals. At the same time, the prompt cards uniquely provide a scaffold that supports the conceptualisation of on-site MR integration in museums. The person, place performance framework assists designers and curators in developing visitor-centric, contextually relevant experiences by utilising MR’s spatial and immersive features.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: augmented reality, design ideation toolkit, exhibition design, spatial computing, prompt cards
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2024 07:55
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 07:57

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