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Title: Designing for dream spaces : exploring digitally enhanced space for children's engagement with museum objects
Author: Warpas, Katarzyna Bogusława
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 789X
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents an investigation into the potential of digitally enhanced exhibition spaces to foster the engagement of children within family groups with museum objects on display, i.e. where physical contact is prohibited. The main focus is on the influence of digital enhancement on visitors’ engagement with artefacts and not on the digital elements themselves. This study has taken the mixed methods approach. It combines ethnographicallyinformed field studies with a design intervention within an overarching methodology of action research. In the review of literature, research from multiple fields including museum studies, interaction design and play research was brought together and examined from the perspective of exhibition design. This led to the development of the Social Dream Spaces Model. This model, which describes how visitors engage with museum objects, was used as the basis for a design intervention aimed at enhancing children’s engagement with exhibited artefacts. In-gallery participant observations were carried out in Bantock House Museum, Wolverhampton. Insights, based on data analysed from the perspective of the Social Dream Spaces Model, were used to develop a prototype of a digitally enhanced space, which was implemented into the existing exhibition. Data gathered in observations before and after the design intervention were compared in order to determine any changes in visitors’ responses to the exhibition. This study demonstrates the benefit of using the Social Dream Spaces Model for designing digitally enhanced exhibition spaces that promote children’s engagement with artefacts and social contact around them. The findings also confirm that designing subtle and nonintrusive digital enhancement can facilitate intergenerational interaction in exhibition spaces.
Supervisor: Niedderer, Kristina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: exhibition design ; museum object ; engagement ; child visitor ; dream space ; digital enhancement ; practice-led ; Bantock House Museum ; interactive spaces