Shaping the Connected Museum II

Extending reach and broadening audiences by adopting digital technologies.

Shaping the Connected Museum is a two-year project funded by the AHRC as part of its UK-China Research-Industry Creative Partnerships programme to drive creative growth and innovation through international collaboration.

The project will enable our existing network of UK and Chinese partners to evolve into a long-term strategic partnership. Our network includes Universities (Nottingham, including its Ningbo Campus in China, Exeter, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Hangzhou Normal and Zhejiang Science and Technology), industry partners (Factory42, Alibaba), and cultural institutions (Tate, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Science and Technology Museum).

Museums and galleries are increasingly receptive to using digital technology and participatory methods to grow and diversify their visitor base, and to collaborate with international partners to reach global audiences. Our vision is for ‘connected museums’ to extend their reach and broaden their audiences by adopting digital technologies to make new kinds of connections between their visitors, exhibits, sites, and interpretations. This AHRC-funded project brings together digital technologies, participatory methods and international partnership through the vision of the 'connected museum' in which visitors, artefacts, and stories move and project themselves between museums - both physically and virtually. We will refine our vision by identifying target audiences, opportunities and challenges, and will undertake two production projects to showcase the value and feasibility of connected approaches across our networked museums in the UK and China. This will be supported by a series of workshops – including a design workshop using the VisitorBox method that has emerged from previous AHRC projects – alongside staff and PhD student exchanges.

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