This is our mission statement, what we’ve based our company on, and something that we continue to strive for everyday. It is so important and so necessary to be able to share your stories, and something we don’t think gets enough attention, especially in the world of mobile apps. We’ve recently noticed a trend in the way people think about an app for their space, and we’d like to challenge that concept.
When thinking about a mobile app, people usually think in terms of how their current collection and narrative will fit into this new platform, and easily into the palm of visitors’ hands.
But a mobile app shouldn’t be confined by one narrative, it should push the boundaries. Your app should be an extension of your space, not a replacement, and a way to engage differently. Tell the stories you don’t have the space or ability to tell elsewhere, find common ground and connections in our differences, and explore different point of views.
A mobile app can also open up worlds of opportunities in the way you engage with your community, specifically how you are able to engage them in a different way than simply as a visitor to your space.
We recently began working with the Anthropology of Museums class at the University of Chicago. The class is challenging the way students think about development and curatorial work within a museum space by spending the semester working in the Encurate Content Management System, and designing their own tours and content for the Oriental Institute Museum.
It not only allows the students to feel a sense of ownership for their work, and gives them an extraordinary experience in a field they’re passionate about, it also serves to give a whole new perspective to the objects on display at the museum, and the stories they are telling. This fresh perspective may be something the museum wouldn’t have previously considered, but are now able to share with other visitors.
Because the world is constantly changing, now faster than ever, there are always countless ways of viewing certain objects, artifacts, or art that surrounds us. Current movements or current events that are shaping and reshaping the world day after day, change the way we act and behave and think. And because you have the power to change and update your app based on changing perspectives and ideas, it allows visitors to experience the museum in a unique way, no matter how many times they visit. They’ll return because they know they’ll find something new to engage with, learn from and be amazed by.
You can also use a mobile app to expand on something your visitor is shocked or awed by, and further their intrigue by providing additional perspectives, dialogue, and questions. Museums are places where art, science, technology, and history meet to tell stories, and we should encourage visitors to explore and experience as many of these stories as possible.
The object we’re looking at, or the work of art we’re examining, should not be the end of the experience, it should be the beginning. The beginning of our wonder, the beginning of our questions, the beginning of our exploration into other cultures, worlds, and ideas.
What stories do you have to tell?