- imuse booklet
experimenting with IT for fun in museums
- Low cost digital activities for heritage sites
Over the last few years, the iMuse programme has tried-out lightweight (in cost and technology terms) ways of creating digitally-enabled activities with the aim of encouraging visitors to look more closely at, or learn more about, an aspect of their heritage.
These activities tend to be ephemeral. For example, the ‘Splat Medusa’ game was created as a way of honouring our promise to a group of 16 year olds from a special school that we would use all their artwork in a webapp which was to be the final outcome of a project in the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology. The ...
- Trying out a scratchcard
The Reading Abbey Gateway has just been restored. It raises questions of restoration versus conservation – given the Gateway, first erected in medieval times, was in a terrible state by the 1800s (even though Jane Austen had been to school there) and more or less completely fell down in the mid 1800s.
It was rebuilt to a design by Gilbert Scott and has just been restored as part of Reading’s Abbey revealed project.
Here’s an experiment with a ‘scratchcard’ (use finger or mouse depending on your device) on the theme – what is it we are restoring/are we conserving anything?
(Thanks to ...
- First experiment with augmented reality
Can AR help visitors’ enjoyment and learning in museums? We are just beginning to play to see whether we can create fun activities without spending a lot of money. We would like them to be usable in two ways
on a user’s own phone/tablet
on a tablet loaned to them by the venue without necessarily needing to be online .
We have neither the expertise nor the desire to implement native apps, both because of the costs of maintaining apps across multiple platforms and because of visitors’ resistance to loading apps. We ...
- Christmas 2017 splat game
A webapp first created for the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology was adapted to form a Christmas-themed online game. Amongst the Christmas-related objects were tree decorations illustrating some of Reading’s iconic spaces such as the Abbey gateway, with extra penalties imposed for mistakenly ‘splatting ’ them.
- Low cost IT at the historic Turbine House
In September 2017, the All of a Twist exhibition explored aspects of the science and art of twisty-turny stuff in, on, beside and above Reading’s rivers. Mini-webapps shown on iPads illustrated the workings of Reading Abbey’s watermill, showed videos of local Thames turbines and presented audios of a child reading her river-eddies poem and a ‘twisting’ song. An artist’s piece ‘FLOW’, installed with the help of Reading’s local Internet of Things community, was controlled by a micro-computer driving LEDs illustrating the height of the Thames, alongside a tablet display encased in a wooden box lasercut at RLab (Reading’s Makerspace).
- Helping Abbey on Wheels
In IT terms iMuse’s input is very lightweight. We help the Reading Abbey on Wheels project by attending events with the tricycle in ‘Abbey livery’ and provide an art activity based on painting tiles. Tiles are photographed and an on-line gallery Tweeted. The main aim of the activity is to encourage participants to look closely at (and handle) original 900 year old tiles and other artefacts from the Abbey and then to try out the Museum’s Virtual Reality ‘tour’ of the ruins. The mixture of activities means there is something to appeal to all ages.
- Internet of Things connected tricycle
Inspired by the locally-manufactured tricycle in Reading Museum, we ran an information tricycle supporting Reading 2016 Year of Culture. The tricycle was connected to the fledgling Things Network being setup by the local ‘geeks’ community with a GPS tracking device. The aim was to create interest in this new venture, providing a ‘way in’ to discuss the Year of Culture with passers by who perhaps had a more technical rather than heritage bent. 60 venues/events were attended, including ‘Cleaning for the Queen’ and as part of ‘Light up Reading’.
- Where’s Reading heading?
This project was run by Reading Museum as a Happy Museum project (Paul Hamlyn Foundation). iMuse/iOpener was able to support it with a contribution to accessibility with captioning being added to the film by Ginger & Pickles Production Company, getting visitors’ views on Reading through the iOpener days in March 2015 and introducing visitors to the film in the RG spaces tent at the East Reading Festival, June 2015.
- National Heritage Open Days 2014 – How Reading got its pots
or “From Apullia to Reading”. iMuse worked with the Ure Museum and Reading Museum to create a webapp explaining how Reading got such a rich collection of Greek pots and how the two museums collaborate over their display. The webapp includes video interviews with curators and reuses stop-motion animations and other material created by secondary school children for previous iMuse projects.
- Ure Move
This project is the third in the series led by the Ure Museum of Classical Archaeology, Reading. Working with three local schools, AACT as part of its iMuse Programme, will help to create simple webapps using material created by 16 year old pupils led by a student panel.
- A mini-app for an artist’s exhibition
Working with artist Jenny Halstead, iMuse is hoping to demonstrate that a low-cost simple web-app can enhance the visitor’s experience, particularly those with sight, learning or reading difficulties.
- Stanley Spencer Gallery
We are experimenting in partnership with the Gallery on new methods of interacting with and interpreting the Artist’s work using in-Gallery iPads.
- Ure Discovery
In partnership with a classical museum, a professional animator, mainstream and special schools to produce a highly-accessible app based on ideas communicated by forty 14-25 year olds.
- Text-free book
Experimenting with a totally text-free app with an in-gallery iPad bound as a book.
- iMuse in Reading
This project ran in partnership, with 600 people trying novel ways of accessing heritage using mobile devices.