How a Human-Centered Approach to Art and Emotions Reimagines the Museum Experience.
In the May meeting of Museum Mindshare, our community gathered to share creative engagement projects that we were proud to have created for museum audiences. You can read a summary of major themes we discussed here. This month, we will feature short reflections from some of our members about their favorite past projects. We hope they will serve as inspiration for museum professionals to continue doing amazing work for your communities.
Written by Gloriana Amador, Pistachio Semolina Rosewater Studio
Why do my emotions matter in my museum experience? In light of the ongoing global conversations around the future of museums, my work focuses on creating human experiences in museums that connect art, mind, emotions, and body movement. I believe that imagination, freedom, and creativity offer an escape from our realities and enhance our understanding of the world, promoting mutual understanding between cultures and our well-being. This idea inspired me to create my studio with a mission to create museum experiences that are more accessible, equitable, and meaningful. Within this mission in my mind, I created Art Thread, a web app that sits at the intersection of technology, museums, and people to bring a rich and satisfying human experience to the museum.
In response to this pandemic, I am embracing a more human-centered practice that places how people feel at the center. To achieve this, I base my work on the principles of the visitor-centered methodology in museums where it is important to take care of visitors as well as works of art. By understanding what visitors want and need when visiting a museum, the museum can respond with more enriching and meaningful experiences.
The mission of Art Thread is to contribute to the well-being of humans around the world, by designing digital experiences that meet the needs of four main areas: art, mind, emotions, and movement. Based on a humanistic approach that centers its design on people’s autonomy, freedom, and emotions when experiencing art. The way art thread works is with the creation of four main characters or “personas:” Izzy, Tyler, Emi, and Liza.
- Izzy represents the creativity part in us. She is always experimenting and creating new art. Creativity amplifies our vision of the world and our lives. It provides a place for the imagination, and thus a place to escape from reality.
- Tyler represents a more intellectual side of our experience in the museum. He enjoys thinking and deeply analyzing art. Art is an intellectual experience too. It challenges us to think and interpret the way artists communicate through their art so we can take something from it as well.
- Emi represents our emotions. He enjoys his day quietly while looking at art pieces. Our emotions affect how we live and think, and they have an impact on how we experience art in a museum. Our emotions matter in the way we interpret art pieces because it is an experience that comes within ourselves and thus informs our perception too.
- Liza represents our body. She is always dancing and moving her body around. We bring our bodies into the museum, but what happens when we have to stay at home? We forget to move our bodies, and that causes problems to our health. In Liza’s mind, art can inspire us to move our bodies both at home and in the museum.
During the experience of designing Art Thread, I came to believe that what makes my experience in art unique inspires me to visit the museum. And that is the message I want to share with you all. For me, a museum experience is a human experience too. And when we design from a mindset that places the value of a human being — their emotions, freedom, and autonomy — at the center when experiencing art in museums, we get the chance to become more relevant to them.