Design a museum exhibit about an artist, and situate it somewhere in the world. Incorporate interactive technology into the exhibit.
I created an exhibit about Reid Miles' album artwork for Blue Note Records, as a proposed addition to Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The exhibit content teaches visitors about the design principles, historical context, and cultural experiences that surround his record covers. It’s enhanced by a companion app which has an interactive exhibit map, a DIY Blue Note album cover activity, music streaming, and more.
In designing this visitor experience, I accounted for the diverse, international visitors and their varying familiarities with jazz history, the English language, and using apps in museums.
I addressed this challenge by including exhibit stations that appeal to all 5 senses, designing a mobile app that supports multiple languages, and creating simple and strategic exhibition text.
There’s a listening station with crates of records, so guests can listen to authentic performances. If the listening station is full, guests can scan the image labels to stream an album in the exhibit app. There’s also a performance space for peak museum days, where people can experience jazz and understand the core of Miles’ designs.
As far as the other senses, taste and smell are incorporated through the bar next to this live music space. Guests can touch materials on a drafting desk or slide colored gels over a B&W image to simulate a duotone effect. Animated typography, documentary video, and a few traditional gallery moments create varied engaging visuals.
The freeform spatial organization is analogous to a classic vinyl experience: sitting on the floor with your favorite albums scattered around you.
At the start of onboarding, users select their UI language from a list of the most common languages in Amsterdam. If guests don’t speak English, German, French, or Dutch, they can still find value from the app, though. The DIY album cover activity uses universal photo editing icons that facilitate interaction.
The wall text, exhibition labels, and in-app copy have a bold, simple tone that matches Reid Miles' visual style. This unifies the exhibit's text and visuals while making it accessible to a broader audience.
The Stedelijk Museum needs inclusive experiences that engage their diverse audience—not just upper class, highly educated visitors. Giving people options to get information in a variety of ways, the ways that suit them best, is at inclusive design’s core.