Slow designing inclusive museum experiences.

Friday, April 30, 2021: 9:00am - 10:30am - - Paper Session

Jenna Hall, Monash University, Australia, Vince Dziekan, Monash University, Australia, Matthew Butler, Monash University, Australia

Published paper: Slow designing inclusive museum experiences.

Museums are faced with increasingly complex challenges to provide inclusive experiences for the diverse audiences they serve. While issues of accessibility and cultural diversity have been focused upon in great depth in museum studies, and there has been extensive research into the health and wellbeing benefits of art, we are yet to see this research broadly embedded into museum practice through design. This paper introduces the potential of “Slow Design” to facilitate collaboration between curators, museum educators, researchers and audiences through action research. We will present preliminary research and outline how these insights both contextualise and inform project methodology and objectives that form part of new research into accessibility issues encountered by blind and low vision visitors*. While seeking to integrate inclusive design solutions into exhibition experiences that prioritize these distinct needs, the research project aspires to reveal the potential for slow design to transform how museums communicate in ways that promote universal design and multisensorial interactions with art. By working towards embedding inclusive principles into real-world exhibition experiences, our project proposes that by employing slow design to address issues of accessibility and diversity, the wellbeing of all museum visitors will be greatly enriched.

*This research is associated with “Inclusive Gallery Experiences: Creating an Accessible Bendigo Art Gallery for Blind and Low Vision Visitors” (2019-2022), led by Chief Investigators Matthew Butler and Vince Dziekan, along with other researchers from Monash University (Kirsten Ellis, Leona Holloway and Kimball Marriott). Contributing to this research is a PhD research project conducted by Jenna Hall into design and mindful engagement with museum collections.

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