Our climate change “exhibit” is rapidly losing its primacy as an exhibit on which we do research to instead becoming a research platform that we set up as an exhibit. The original plan was to design an exhibit on a multitouch table around climate change and research, among other things, how users interact and what stories they choose to tell as related to their “6 Americas” identity about climate change.
After Mark attended the ASTC conference, in talking with Ideum folks and others, we’ve decided what we really need to build is a research platform on the table, with exhibit content just as the vehicle for doing that research. That means instead of designing content and asking research questions about it, we’re taking the approach of proposing the research questions, then finding content to put on that allows us to investigate those questions. The good news is that a lot of content already exists.
So, with that in mind, we’re taking the tack now of identifying the research questions we’re interested in in order to build the appropriate tools for answering those questions. For example,
-How do people respond to the table, and what kinds of tools do we need to build so that they will respond, especially by creating their own narratives about the content?
-How can we extend the museum’s reach beyond the building itself, for example, by integrating the multitouch exhibit and handheld tools? What is the shelf life of interactions in the museum?
-What are the differences between the ways groups and individuals use the table, or the differences between the horizontal interactions of the table-based exhibit vs. the more traditional “vertical” interactions provided by other exhibits (did you play Ms. Pac Man differently when it was in the table version vs. the stand-up kiosk?)
-How can we help facilitate visualization understanding through simulations on the table where visitors can build comparisons and manipulate factors in the data to create their own images and animations?
What other questions with the multitouch table should we build research tools to answer?