As I continue to plough my way through transcribing the visitor interviews that I’ve done at Museum und Park Kalkriese in Germany I am struck by one observation: a lot of visitors refer to ‘the presentation’. They came because they wanted to see how the story was ‘presented’. They liked ‘the presentation’. ‘The presentation’ was … Continue reading Interpretation: If they notice it, it’s bad
Tag: interpretive planning
Marking Place – The Role of Interpretation
I spent yesterday at the Battle of Hastings site . They had a big event on to mark the upcoming anniversary of the battle, and at some point during the day, people laid down wreaths at the Harold Stone – the stone marking the place where King Harold is said to have fallen . It … Continue reading Marking Place – The Role of Interpretation
Communicating Messages: Is Interpretation Missing the Point?
In a recent meeting, my PhD supervisors asked me: Is interpretation missing the point by focussing on messages? That interpretation is about communicating messages is a conventional wisdom in the field. Distinct messages are inherent in the definition of interpretation as a ‘mission-based communication process’ , and they are the basis from which we measure … Continue reading Communicating Messages: Is Interpretation Missing the Point?
Objects don’t equal objectivity, or: The pitfalls of object-driven interpretation
Last week I was back in Germany finishing up the visitor interviews at Museum und Park Kalkriese for my doctorate research. One interview in particular struck a note with me. A visitor was very upset about what they felt was a major lack of balanced representation. They felt that there was little to nothing about … Continue reading Objects don’t equal objectivity, or: The pitfalls of object-driven interpretation
Interpretation, facts, and a bit about respect
I spent last week at a thought-provoking seminar on interpreting megalithic sites. Most of the other participants were archaeologists, charged with unearthing the facts that might tell us what sites are all about. I couldn’t help but be impressed by their attention to detail, and their commitment to objectivity and truth. The latter is of … Continue reading Interpretation, facts, and a bit about respect
Museums Change Lives (or do they?)
This Monday past I went to the launch of the UK Museums Association’s ‘Museums Change Lives’ vision document. And I will say that as ever, it is nice to hear and read a good few confident assertions of why our work as (museums) professionals actually matters. And it is good to have a large organisation … Continue reading Museums Change Lives (or do they?)
Impressions from the IE/NAI Interpretation Conference in Sweden
I spent this week at the joint Interpret Europe/National Association for Interpretation conference in Sweden. The conference theme was global citizenship, but probably due to my own interests, I ended up hearing mostly papers on stakeholder engagement . Here are a few impressions and thoughts that I’ve had during the conference – no doubt I’ll … Continue reading Impressions from the IE/NAI Interpretation Conference in Sweden
So how about interpreting mutual understanding?
Next month I’ll be presenting a paper at the NAI/IE joint conference entitled ‘Interpretation can make us citizens of the world’ in Sweden. I’m really looking forward to what people will say about this topic. As I’ve reported in my last blog post, only one couple out of the 100+ people I’ve interviewed so far … Continue reading So how about interpreting mutual understanding?
Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony
Last week, the UK Museums Association published the research report into what the public think are the purposes of museums. I’ve blogged about the announcement of the research, and especially the brief for it, here. I was particularly interested in their methodology . My concerns were that the framework established in the brief would … Continue reading Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony
Visitor Experiences of Co-produced Exhibitions
Last week I attended an excellent workshop on ‘Visitor Experiences of Co-produced Exhibitions’. Co-production is a central theme in museums at the moment, and participants were encouraged to bring their own experiences of co-production to the workshop for discussion. I came away with a few good points to ponder, which you might find interesting as … Continue reading Visitor Experiences of Co-produced Exhibitions