For this project, I worked in a team of two other Northeastern students. The prompt was vague, choose an art exhibition in the local area and find a pain point that can be addressed through design thinking. My team chose the Gestural Engineering at the MIT Museum which contained a collection of kinetic sculptures by Arthur Ganson.
Research and Exploration
Our group decided to create an experience map as our alignment diagram in order to better consolidate our individual experiences of our trips to get a better sense of what we would want to do in a follow-up group trip back to the MIT Museum.
After selecting our project topic, our group started the research phase by planning when we would go to the MIT Museum to visit our specific exhibit. After discussing, our group decided to conduct individual trips to the exhibit at first, due to the time availabilities for each member.
Julie, represents the college students that visit the museum because they are interested in art. Max, represented the college students who visited as a social event rather than being drawn due to its content, and Alice represents the families that go with their children.
During our second visit to the exhibit, where we went as a group, we decided to meet beforehand to create personas and brainstorm interview questions for people we meet at the exhibit. We ended up creating three personas--Julie, Max, and Alice.
Using the personas we created, our group came up with interview questions to ask the various groups we would meet at the exhibit. Additionally, we used the personas to inform us on further questions we would want answered in a survey we created and sent out.
During our time at the exhibit we managed to interview both an employee at the museum, working security at the exhibit, and a man visiting the museum from California.
Ideally, the changes that we propose would have left Julie feeling inspired and like she got something out of her visit. She's gotten inspiration for her studio projects, and she's even convinced some of her friends who normally don't like museums to come!
We mapped out Julie's theoretical trip. We covered what the current state is, the problem, and what our solution is: how can we solve the various issues that we came across during our trips for our ideal student persona?
Our changed alignment diagram focused on four aspects that we found to be the most important to the experience: the ticket experience, the experience interacting with the exhibit pieces, the touch wall, and the pushcart. We initially decided to solve some of these problems with a three-pronged approach: building a new marketing site, creating new signage, and building new ways to interact with the exhibit pieces.
The website that currently exists about the Gestural Engineering exhibit doesn't take advantage of the amazing movement that captures the visitor's gaze while they're at the exhibit. We also looked into changing the signage to take more about the work of art rather than just a tantalizing snippet of the maker's quote.
While we did research and consider making changes for all three aspects of this plan, we decided to pursue the difference levels (interacting during) the exhibit for the majority of the project. The interactions with the exhibits are all so similar, it makes a big difference when you get to interact with the gestural engineering in a gesturally specific fashion