'No, you press yours first!' : sharing interaction and socially interacting with companions at tangible hybrid interactive museum exhibits

  • Loraine Clarke

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Hands-on tangible interactive exhibits are prevalent in science and technology centres, and are becoming increasingly common in traditional museums which conventionally exhibit historical artefacts and classical paintings. Interactive exhibits can enhance visitors’ experiences, offering museums interesting alternative ways to engage visitors and portray narratives about their collections. How interactive technologies support or encourage companions in sharing interaction with other and engaging in social interaction with each other is of particular interest to this PhD research. In this doctoral thesis, I present three case studies that focus on companions sharing social interactions at tangible hybrid interactive museum exhibits, and subsequently question variations in how control is distributed between companions. The nature of this research draws on several disciplines and as such is multi-disciplinary, in the field it draws upon, how it was conducted and in the research contributions.Case study 1, Painting Patterns for Nature, focused on the social activities of companions before and after their interaction with the exhibit, and examined how the exhibit supported these social activities by the presence of several portable tangible controllers which are accessible (but not interactive) outside of core interaction. Case study 2, Glen Douglas and Fire Fighter, emphasised companions’ social interaction stemming from an interplay between different controllers and reliance upon companions. Case study 3, Razzle Dazzle highlighted the ways in which companions share decisions before interacting, questioning equality of participation between companions interacting with the exhibit.The research offers a unique contribution within the fields of tangible interaction and museum studies investigating interactive exhibits by conducting empirical research through a design lens. In conducting the research, a contribution has been made in developing a definition for ‘tangible hybrid interactive museum exhibits’ (THIMEs). Furthermore, the research makes a contribution by describing visitors’ social interactions with their companions and their behaviours sharing the interaction at THIMEs. The research has identified strategies for distributed controller between companions physically (providing multiple controllers), functionally (in what the controllers do) and temporally (when people use controllers) at interactive museum exhibits which considers how to support visitors social interactions with their companions and how to share the interaction with the exhibit.
Date of Award23 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorEva Hornecker (Supervisor) & Ian Ruthven (Supervisor)

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