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Interaction and interactives: collaboration and participation with computer-based exhibits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91 - 101
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

King's Authors


It is increasingly recognized that social interaction and collaboration are critical to our experience of museums and galleries. Curators, museum managers and designers are exploring ways of enhancing interaction and in particular using tools and technologies to create new forms of participation, with and around, exhibits. It is found, however, that these new tools and technologies, whilst enhancing "interactivity," can do so at the cost of social interaction and collaboration, inadvertently impoverishing co-participation, and cooperation. In this paper we address some of the issues and difficulties that arise in designing for "interactivity" and in particular point to the complex and highly contingent forms of social interaction which arise with, and around, exhibits. The paper is based on a series of video-based field studies of conduct and interaction in various museums and galleries in London and elsewhere including the Science Museum and Explore@ Bristol.

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