New Augmented Reality Experience at The Norton
By Meredith Gregory, Associate Curator of Education for School and Teacher Programs, Norton Museum of Art
The Norton Museum of Art is honored to share the Norton Art+ augmented reality app with our visitors starting January 2nd. The app is made in collaboration with the New York City-based design firm, Local Projects, and is supported by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.
The augmented reality experience allows visitors to engage with six contemporary works of art in the Norton’s permanent collection and encourages conversation between family members of all ages about the themes related to the work of art. “Norton Art+ stands out because each of the six augmented-reality interactions in the app is tailored to a specific contemporary artwork. The experience is much more than just an information layer, each interaction is uniquely designed to spark visitors’ interest through playful and creative explorations of what makes the artwork so special”, said Eric Mika, Creative Director, Local Projects.
The Norton Art+ project began over a year ago. Norton Art + evolved from a question posed by Board Member Annabelle Garrett: How can you use technology to start conversations with children about contemporary art? Subsequently, the project was supported generously by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.
With Ms. Garrett’s question in mind, we began a months-long search for a design firm. The Norton chose Local Projects, a firm well-established in the international museum community that brings fresh and innovative ideas to the table for each project they undertake.
Then it was time to create! Beginning in the fall of 2019, Norton staff members from multiple departments participated in the making of this app with the team from Local Projects. We held brainstorming sessions, user testing with families, and even involved our Teen Advisory Squad members by holding sessions where they could test the app and give their input. One TASQ member, Gianni Bruno says, “TASQ is all about bringing a younger perspective, or a teen perspective, to the art museum experience. Having that perspective…can help broaden the [number of] users.”
After months of idea-generation, design, and testing we are excited that visitors can experience contemporary art like never before at the Norton. You can dance in a Nick Cave Soundsuit, create your own tapestry in the Museum’s Great Hall, and even drive the Norton’s iconic Typewriter Eraser, Scale X around the reflection pool! And each augmented-reality activity is available to visitors in English or Spanish.
See what the experience looks like through a video about Norton Art+. To check out an iPad for free at the Museum starting January 2nd, visit the Norton Art+ kiosk in the Great Hall.
For COVID guidelines including how to reserve tickets for your visit go to https://www.norton.org/visit/hours-admission