The Cleveland Museum of Art is midway through a $350 million expansion and, through a leadership grant from its board of directors, has been challenged to grow new audiences to engage with art and the museum.
Local Projects (New York) was tasked with helping the museum engage visitors via technology, and created "Gallery One," a suite of new interactives that transform the art museum experience. Visitors can explore digital versions of the artworks, gathering ideas and seeing the original context of the artworks themselves. Rather than simply viewing the artwork created by others, visitors can also create their own works of art, gaining a new understanding of the creative process by being creative themselves. Through interactive games, visitors can put their own bodies into the experience, matching poses with figurative sculptures or browsing the museum's collection by making different facial gestures.
All of the Gallery One interfaces are experiences that invite visitors to understand art and art-making through intuition, play, and creativity. For those who do not like technology, the traditional design of the galleries means that the interactives are opt-in and do not circumvent the art gallery experience. An expansive interactive wall allows multiple visitors to see all 3,000 artworks on display at the same time, inviting them to curate their own experiences by exploring connections between artworks. Custom tours can be connected to a new iPad application that allows visitors to both navigate the museum through a director's tour and take tours made by other visitors. Gallery One was designed to change how visitors understand the artworks and themselves.
Jake Barton (principal)
Katie Lee (creative director)
Keeli Shaw (project manager)
Ian Curry (interaction design director)
Angela Chen (interaction designer)
Erika Tarte and Lynn Kiang (graphic designers)
Miriam Lakes (content coordinator and developer)
Jen Choi (motion graphics artist)
Josh Silverman and David Scharf (creative technologists)
Sundar Raman (director of creative engineering)
Ethan Holda (director of technology)
Gallagher & Associates (physical design)
Zenith Systems, LLC (hardware and integration)
Piction (digital asset management)
“Invites visitors to engage the art in new and dynamic ways.”
“The project represents a breakthrough in its use of interactivity within the art museum space. Digital access to collections allows for thoughtful exploration, discovery, and play, without disrupting the generally contemplative experience.”
“The digital experience created in this project demonstrates how new technology can really enhance a visitor’s experience in an art museum. Its design goes way beyond the token installation in a gallery to become a totally new way of engaging the audience. Most importantly, it shows that the institution is making a deep commitment to this model as part of its permanent mission rather than a temporary novelty.”
“This project is an example of seamless integration of a compelling digital experience into an art museum environment. It truly succeeds in not only getting new audiences to appreciate the art, but drives them to look deeply and engage with the works in new ways.”
“The mantra of art museums: Be quiet. Be careful. Don't touch. If you're especially curious, put your hands behind your back or in your pockets for good measure. Here, the viewing experience becomes engaging and interactive through the sophisticated use of technology. Well done. I can't wait to visit.”