Trajectories of Physical Engagement and Expression in a Co-Creative Museum Installation

Authors: Duri Long, Tom Mcklin, Anna Weisling, William Martin, Hannah Guthrie, Brian Magerko


Co-creative (i.e. collaboratively creative) activities involving physical interaction are becoming more prevalent in museums as a way of promoting opportunities for exploratory learning-through-doing. However, there is still a need for new techniques for understanding how physical interaction relates to engagement and creative expression in order to both evaluate exhibits and iterate on their design. This article reports on a study of how family groups physically interact in a museum environment with a specific co-creative exhibit–TuneTable. We relate observable markers of physical interaction with stages of engagement/expression based in the literature and identify several different trajectories of participant engagement and creative expression as they navigate the exhibit. We explore what these trajectories tell us about the types of inquiry and experimentation that TuneTable supports and discuss design implications. This paper’s main contribution is a deep study of how physical markers reveal trajectories of creative engagement within a specific co-creative installation.

Long, Duri & Mcklin, Tom & Weisling, Anna & Martin, William & Guthrie, Hannah & Magerko, Brian. (2019). Trajectories of Physical Engagement and Expression in a Co-Creative Museum Installation. 246-257. 10.1145/3325480.3325505.

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