Grindstone Island

Designing Interactive Media in a Museum Setting
July 22 - 28, 2001

Main Lodge






Slavko Milekic, M.D., PhD, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science & Digital Design, Department of Art Education & Art Therapy, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia


The goal of this workshop is two-fold:

  • to expose you to the current research findings in the area of cognitive science, interface design and social psychology relevant for the design of interactive media in a museum setting, and

  • to teach you how to implement or prototype your own solutions through a series of hands-on exercises.

The workshop will be conducted in eight three-hour sessions, roughly half of which will be devoted to hands-on design using a cross-platform authoring environment (MetaCard). Previous scripting/programming experience is not a necessary prerequisite for this workshop. By the end of the workshop you should be able to form an informed opinion about specific uses of interactive media in museums and to create a working prototype of any project you would like to develop in the future.

The topics that will be covered in individual sessions are listed below. Although theoretical and hands-on sessions will be presented in alternating fashion, they are listed sequentially for clarity.

Theoretical/illustrative sessions

  • Conceptual background. Virtualization. Implications of global virtualization trends for museum information.

  • The concept of interaction. Interactive media. Authoring environments for interactive media. Design of new pedagogical tools based on the unique properties of the digital medium.

  • Local interaction. Visitor experience. Collaborative knowledge building/discovery. When private becomes public and public becomes private. Global interaction. Making global interaction local. Visitor experience. Tying local & global interactions.

  • The future of interactive media. Adaptive interface design. Responding to viewer's intention.

Hands-on sessions

  • Introduction to a cross-platform authoring environment (MetaCard). Basic concepts: objects & events. Controlling interaction -- the anatomy of a handler. First script.

  • Making objects move, appear, disappear. Incorporating different media (sound, photographs, drawings, animations, digital video, 3D environments). What makes an application interactive?

  • Creating complex behaviors. Object and behavior cloning. Navigation. Creating immersive and adaptive environments. Supporting knowledge building and transfer.

  • Beyond the screen -- interactions using voice, touch, gesture.

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Archives & Museum Informatics

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all photos © 2001 J. Trant
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last updated: June 19, 2014