In my thesis work for my Master’s degree in MA in Integrated Design at the KISD, Köln International School of Design from TH Köln. My research focused on the interpretation of museum objects, and particularly specimens inside natural history museums. My inspirational muse was this taxidermied Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) and I used it as an example for the project.
I created a digital interface for tablets that allows visitors to select an object of interest within a glass case and decide what kind of interpretation experience they want to have. While interacting with images and sounds, they can choose between three topics of possible interpretation, depending on their own preference, thus facilitation a personal involvement with the objects/specimens. The contents are presented with images and interactive infographics with few texts instead of the traditional heavy-texted panels used in exhibitions.
Using the Actor-Network Theory as a model, the interface allows visitors to discover related objects and observe relationships among specimens within other exhibitions or deposits. For this version, I based the interface on a real case called “Birds of the Forest” from the “Museum für Naturkunde”, in Berlin, as an example for showing its possibilities.