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Friday, November 6 • 9:45am - 10:00am
Student Collaborations and the Museum of the Future

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Interactive exhibit design for museums is expensive. In a field where budgets are increasingly tight, the pressure is also mounting to innovate new, more effective interpretations. It’s becoming ever more challenging to balance visitor engagement, educational outreach, patron interest, and budgets. At the same time, students are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the real-world experience necessary to compete effectively for design positions following graduation.

In this case study, we present the results of an ongoing program at The College of New Jersey, where students in the Interactive Multimedia Department are developing interactive exhibit prototypes in partnership with local museums. The goal of the program is to give hands-on interactive exhibit design experience to students, while allowing museums to inexpensively explore alternative exhibition approaches and enhance collection interpretation through emerging technologies.

The program is entering its third year, and, after two successful iterations with TCNJ's own Sarnoff Collection in 2013 and 2014, we are piloting the program with the New Jersey State Museum in fall 2015. The program consists of an advanced level, one-semester interactive exhibit design course during the fall followed by a winter on-site student project showcase. Following the showcase, students who have created exceptional projects are invited to continue development for inclusion in long-term exhibitions.

Experts from the local museum and exhibit design community also participate in the process as guest lecturers, field trip hosts, and critique jurors. The student showcase is open to the community at large, with the general public, museum professional and patrons, college administrators, faculty, students, friends, and family all provided the opportunity to experience the projects in the museum setting.

Previous iterations of the program have yielded the following results:
- Students gain hands-on experience working with museum collections and creating interactive exhibits with emerging technologies
- Students gain familiarity with the functions and processes of a real-world design studio
- Students receive guidance and feedback from museum professionals, as well as museum patrons
- The museum acquires knowledge about the latest interactive multimedia technologies through collaboration with college faculty and design professionals
- The museum inexpensively explores new approaches to interpreting its collections and exhibitions, with the option of developing the best solutions further
- The museum develops a new talent pool from which it can hire
-The museum gains new forms of community engagement and extends its educational outreach
- The community gains increased knowledge and awareness of the museum, its collections, and the college
- Potential museum benefits we will explore in fall 2015 include using student prototypes to more clearly specify planned exhibits for vendors, possibly streamlining vendor selection and production cycles.

Speakers
avatar for Emily Croll

Emily Croll

Director, TCNJ Art Gallery & Sarnoff Collection, The College of New Jersey
avatar for Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

Term Assistant Professor, The College of New Jersey



Friday November 6, 2015 9:45am - 10:00am
Nokomis Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

Attendees (37)