EU-funded project [No 2014-1-FR01-KA202-008678]
The Creative Museum 2014-2017
About the project
The Creative Museum is a new project funded by the EU under the Erasmus + programme.
The Creative Museum Project seeks to explore and inform the connections between our cultural organisations and their communities by capitalizing on the emergence of new and democratizing digital technologies. Seeking to extend the language of engagement through the medium of accessible, customisable, and personal digital experiences. The project sees museums as dynamic learning environments in which staff and visitors can use accessible digital tools to explore and reason about collections in new and creative ways.
The Creative Museum is a three-year Strategic Partnership running from 2014-2017 funded via Erasmus+, Key Action 2 (Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices) – Vocational and Educational Training (VET).
Digital technologies pervade modern life and the computing power at the fingertips of the average consumer today vastly outweighs the power of supercomputers from the 1960s. The potential for this technology to affect delivery of information and entertainment has never been more significant.
The recent global economic downturn has impacted youth and adult populations throughout Europe. A major concern for the EU is the rise in unemployment and prevailing lack of opportunities to develop and improve skills of its citizens. This downturn and loss of employment has inspired both individuals and communities to empower themselves to create, engage, set-up their own local initiatives to develop and showcase a variety of skill sets.
Museums offer the opportunity for social encounters for their visitors through exhibitions and public programmes. European museums house incredible collections and are repositories of art, history, culture, religion, science, technology, language, among others but are facing pressures from the rapid advancement of new technologies and restricted budgets.
Many museums have long been proactive in the search for a role for digital concepts within their walls, from information kiosks, to animated panels, to sound-and-light augmentations of exhibition spaces, to engineered simulations of large-scale phenomena.
However the production of these experiences has tended to be somewhat costly and the result of complex supplier relationships with professional software companies. With the increasing miniaturisation and attendant cost-saving of customisable technology there is now a groundswell community of inventors who have at their disposal a tremendous potential for digital expressivity.
The partnership will explore the ways in which museums and partners from outside the cultural sector can engage with each other and to articulate methodologies of good practice.
Museums face a number of challenges which this project will address:
– How can museums meet the expectations of the digital agenda to access cultural content through digital technologies?
– How can museums look at offering more attractive solutions to visitors with interactive and engaging experiences?
– How can museums look at new ways of engagement with communities and culture, to facilitate exchanges and experiences?
– How can museums continue to draw visitors in an ever-increasing competitive environment without losing sight of their unique roles in society?
– How can museums meet these challenges with restricted budgets?
– How museums can share and bring ideas together to make their organisations and engagement more relevant to their communities?
– How can museums compete or match demands of visitors to provide information and access through the latest software?
– How can museums form partnerships outside the cultural sector in order to harness the skills with the technology / digital sector as well as looking at traditional skills and crafts which have seen a resurgence in recent economic downturn?
The project aims to explore how European museums can offer this continuum of engagement for their visitors.
Throughout the three years of the project, museum professionals will be encouraged to learn from each other; test new ways of interacting with audiences; create partnerships; explore participatory programming; share good practices and experiences and disseminate the processes and outcomes.
The museum will be seen as an ecosystem where museum professionals, creative industry professionals, visitors and community workers will meet, collaborate and lead experimentations to create the basis of an open and inclusive learning environment.
This project explores the potential and value of personal impact on small-scales and seeks to connect the Maker Community and digital industries with museums and museum practitioners to break down barriers, open the doors of the museum and explore new ways of interpreting collections.
The Creative Museum will develop conduct an analysis of good practices; produce recommendations and guidelines for creative practices; provide training for partner museum staff; fund opportunities for Maker-in-Residence programmes; run dissemination events in partner countries to share learning from the project with a final conference in Zagreb 2017.
The proposed activities and methodologies will be explored by a number of partners who specialize in digital media, new technologies, traditional arts and crafts as well as science. A number of the partners already have established programmes of these activities and will share these with other partners. The participating partners will hold a number of events including workshops with their local communities which will serve as research material.
The project is primarily addressed to museum professionals to ‘turn upside-down’ traditional learning approaches and allows them to create and test new creative and interactive methods.
Proposed project activities
– To set-up a network of museums in Europe to explore creative practice through co-creation and participatory programming
– To use and build on some of the methodologies established during the Learning Museum (LEM) project
– Gather examples of good practices through pilot activities and document methodologies which will be shared through a number of networks
– To develop learning resources and share with other museum practitioners and community groups via relevant websites/social networks/collaborative platforms
– Tap into the Learning Museum and other trans-European and local networks
– Foster an understanding of participatory practice and how it can benefit the museum and its wider communities
– Foster collaboration
– Test ideas and lead by example
– Bring new ideas to light and share freely through dissemination online and social media
– Build a community that takes care of itself and members
– Collection of good practices
– Set of guidelines for developing creative practices in museums
– Network of dissemination channels – online and social media
– Maker-in-Residence programme
– Study visits for partner museum staff
– Dissemination events – local conferences and seminars; a final conference
– Evaluation report
– Publication Beneficiaries
The project is aimed at museum professionals to build their capacity to create modules based on creativity and innovation using both traditional and new methods.
These will provide museums much-needed ‘know-how’ in how to engage with diverse communities.
– France: Cap Sciences (Project Coordinator)
– Croatia: Radiona Hackerspace
– Ireland: Chester Beatty Library
– Italy: IBCAN
– Italy: STePS
– France: MuseMix
– Finland: Finnish Museums Association
– Norway: Museums of the South Troendelag (MiST)
– UK: Heritec Limited
– In addition the project partners will be assisted by two external expert advisors, Don Undeen, Senior Manager of MediaLab, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA and Jasper Visser, Inspired By Coffee, Netherlands
Cecile Marsen, Cap Sciences, (Project Coordinator) europe @ cap-sciences.net
Jenny Siung, Chester Beatty Library, (Key partner) jennys @ cbl.ie
Jo-Anne Sunderland Bowe, Heritec Limited, (Intellectual outputs): jo- anne @ heritec.com