- The DIA consists of approximately 90-120 galleries, depending on the definition of a gallery space (this boils down to architectural ambiguities, but a gallery is crudely an architecturally contained space (a room, a corner of a hallway, etc.)).
- 60 of those galleries are "big idea" galleries, which are galleries which revolve around an idea (e.g., French Art and Politics), as opposed to a traditional collection segment (e.g., French Neoclassism)
- IA-wise, each gallery is composed of: the gallery name, a gallery summary panel (~150 words; art draws the visitors in, but the panel explains, and acts as the key interpretive panel), and paintings/artifacts
- Every object in a big idea gallery addresses the big idea in some way
- "Themes" are collections of the the big idea galleries
- The DIA is thinking of introducing approximately 6-10 themes initially
- Each theme would consist of around 6-8 big idea galleries
- Each big idea gallery belongs to no more than one theme, with very few exceptions
- i.e., dia < themes < big idea galleries < paintings/artifacts
- In March 2010, it was discussed that themes, while still being comprised of primarily of galleries, could also include outdoor spaces, such as the Diego Rivera Court, the artist workshop (which has specific hours for which it is open), or other events that could be happening at the DIA.
- In this sense, the kiosk might be thought of more generally as an index to excursions made up of destination points.
Gallery: one of 90-120 physical spaces at the DIA, filled with paintings, artifacts, and supporting interpretives
Big idea gallery: one of 60 (of the full 90-120) galleries which revolve around an idea that helps visitors to more personally connect to the objects and understand how they are all connected through the big idea.
Theme: Collection of around 6-8 big idea galleries, tied together by a high-level theme. Themes connect the big idea galleries and the DIA wants visitors to look at the objects in those galleries through the "lens" of the theme. The DIA is also interested in new "themes" that visitors come up with as they're thinking about the inter-relatedness of galleries.
- Connecting diverse objects/galleries, showing their relatedness.
- Overarching goal: connecting common experience to galleries in the DIA
- Orienting the visitor to the DIA's atypical organization of objects in the museum ("why things are the way they are", "making sense of the museum")
- Facilitate finding surprising and personal connections to the big ideas (which are designed to be more cognitively and personably accessible than the traditional collection segment, e.g., French Neoclassism)
- Facilitate connecting artifacts in the context of a larger humanistic theme
- The kiosk should string the big idea galleries together under a thematic tour, and make the museum's organization and concept of of big idea galleries and themes transparent
1) Act as an index to the museum's themes
2) Allow visitors to browse the themes and galleries within the themes, and
3) Guide the visitor to the appropriate galleries
Considerations & other things we know
Variables, factors to consider:
- Location of the kiosk (options: entrance, near family fitting room, near main eating area, spine, in-gallery)
- Printing (to print, or not to print)
- Accessibility (hardware and interface)
- Display size: personal computing size (i.e., 15"-27"), mid-sized canvases (i.e., 27"-50"), really big (i.e., 50"+)
- Display orientation: parallel to ground (i.e., table), parallel to wall, angled
- Proximal wayfinding ("you are here") vs. step-by-step wayfinding
- Signage (how to best identify the kiosk)
- Stationary content media (text and images) vs. rich, temporal media (audio, video clips)
- The kiosk should be capable of standing alone without dependency on a docent, but it may also be adjunct to the Family Fitting Room service
- Kiosk has no direct role of connecting the artifact to the theme and big idea
- Specifically, there should be no detailed information about artifacts on the kiosk (this doesn't preclude having artifact images or super-quick information about artifacts, like a title + creator)
- Target audiences: 1) visitors who are unfamiliar with the DIA's galleries, and don't know where to go, or what to do, or how to make sense of the museum; 2) visitors who are familiar with the DIA but want to take a different path and try something new
Inspirations, explorations, other thoughts
- Imagine signage around the kiosk that says, "Surprise me!" or "Inspire me!"
- Think about having visitors complete 'something' using their imagination; don't necessarily spill everything out straightaway