Art museums are commonly considered institutions for providing education and cultural enrichment, where visitors can learn about different art forms, techniques, and styles. However, it is commonly known that typical museum settings put a barrier between visitors and artworks. Inaccessible language on placards and traditional audio guides prevent common museum visitors from understanding and appreciating the context behind the artworks they might otherwise have a deeper connection to.
With these consequences in mind, our client, Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), has remained relatively static for the past decade and is facing challenges to attract more visitors with greater engagement. As our solution to this problem, we decided to bridge the gap between art museum visitors’ understanding of art and the actual stories and techniques behind the art piecest; we developed a brand-new experience, Artium, to enable visitors to interact with art through augmented reality technologies. Using vivid animation, audio-based storytelling and 3D object manipulations, Artium puts artworks back into their original context and helps visitors connect with art on a deeper level.
In order to understand the consequences of current Carnegie Museum of Art experience, our team conducted in-depth research with museum goers and museums. Through interviews with these stakeholders, we identified these three main problem areas to address:
- Museum visitors often feel distant from artworks both physically and psychologically. Interactions are limited in a museum setting.
- Museum visitors feel disconnected from artworks since those pieces are shown out of context and are categorized based only on genre and time period.
- Museum visitors yearn for a more affordable way to preserve their museum experience other than buying souvenirs at the museum shop.
After identifying these problem areas, we developed Artium to use approachable storytelling as well as multi-sensory, two-directional experiences to transform CMOA into an effective learning resource and turn curious visitors into collectors. Artium encourages visitors to experience artworks with their naked eyes first. We believe it is imperative not to force visitors to view artworks with augmented technologies but to use them to enhance visitors’ overall experience. Once they activate the Artium experience for an artwork, they will see vivid animations, hear audio-based storytelling, and interact with the elements to learn more. At the end of each Artium experience, visitors can collect a digital 3D element from the artwork for memory-keeping.
Through Artium, we aim to deliver visitors immersive interactions with artworks at Carnegie Museum of Art to bridge the gap between visitors and artists’ intentions; this Augmented Reality experience will not interfere with what visitors see with their naked eyes but instead enhance their learning, engagement, and connection with art. As it holds potential to improve and inspire the next generation of multi-sensory museum experiences, we propose and submit Artium as an entry for the Interaction Award.