I wrote an article about the challenges of designing exhibitions for interaction design and architecture. It was recently published in Senses and Society. Check it out, please.
Recent exhibitions of interaction design have sought, and often struggled, to capture within the space of a traditional gallery the multisensorial, often performative nature of the user experience and the richness of the contexts within which that experience takes place. Similarly, many architecture exhibitions have attempted to reinvent the place of architecture in the modern museum – to portray architecture as a multimodal, multisensory shaper of the material landscape that impacts people’s everyday lives. Yet, again, the “white cube” complicates curators’ and exhibition designers’ efforts to go beyond traditional materials – blueprints, renderings, models, and photographs – to convey the dimensionality and material richness of built space. In this essay we’ll examine how interaction design and architecture, both experiential fields, present unique challenges to the exhibition designer. We’ll also consider how these fields, by virtue of the distinctive qualities of their designed objects, offer unique opportunities for us to rethink the relationships between the contexts and contents of exhibition. We conclude with specific recommendations for ascertaining the limitations and affordances of – and critically negotiating between – the exhibition space, the exhibition’s publics, and exhibition modes and media.