Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Communications

Second Advisor

Paul Green


This thesis documents the design and development of novel interactive experiences that explored concepts aimed to enhance the visitor experience to Cork Butter Museum, Cork, Ireland.

The context to the work is that in recent years, museums and cultural institutions are increasingly motivated to apply creative strategies to engage visitors who come for recreational, social and sometimes educative purposes. Novel museum exhibits designed to cater for such needs often involves the integration of new media technologies in response to rising expectations visitors have with regards to being actively engaged during their visit. This often requires a higher level of participation than reading text or looking at artefacts from a controlled distance.

Researchers have explored transforming the visitor experience through a wide range of projects in the fields of embodied interaction and experience design, which might be regarded as emerging subfields of research practice in HCI. Recent approaches to the design of public exhibition spaces have often made use of widely available input/output sensing technologies which support alternative strategies for the creation of novel interfaces and delivery of dynamic content.

In light of such developments, the aim of this work was to explore the design of engaging experiences that would facilitate participation, collaboration and social interaction in a museum through the creation of technologically augmented artefacts. From the outset, a principle of the research was to ensure that any interventions were sensitive to and respected the natural aesthetic of the museum environment.

Aims and objectives that were suitable for the research were first identified through design research, out of which a set of design principles that were specific to the museum emerged.Authentic artefacts which were suitable for the creation of novel experiences were identified and transformed over the course of an iterative design and development cycle. They were then brought into the museum for a case study, and their effects were analysed and discussed. The process, methods, and findings that were uncovered over the course of the research will be described in the thesis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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