Museums are more and more community connectors and places for people to meet not only their friends, but also strangers… The Wellcome collection has achieved that by creating several event programmes that engage their audiences at different level. One of these programmes, Open Platform, will be explored by Rosie Stanbury, Head of the Live Programme at the Wellcome Collection, during her talk “Talking to Strangers” during the next edition of We Are Museums in Riga.

Open Platform” is a way for the Wellcome Collection to give the keys of their Reading Room to their audience: anyone can submit a proposal for a one-hour event, discuss its feasibility with the museum’s Events Officer and maybe see it come to life. Selected events have to have a strong connection with the Reading Room – a space that invites audiences to dig into what it means to be human through books and artefacts –, focus on low-tech activities (poetry readings, drawing workshops, discussions…) and of course strongly involve their audience – that never exceeds 20 people. Successful events are participatory and encourage people engage with each other as well as with the Reading Room subject matter.

Open Platform is only a piece of the event programme of the Wellcome Collection, an experiential place directed to people that are 14 and older.

In Friday Late Spectaculars, visitors are invited to explore a subject – such as miniatures, the nose or elements – with artists, scientists, performers, writers, speakers and enthusiasts that they can meet in the whole building.

On a different scale, the Sick of The Fringe, that took place during an extended weekend in February, explored the body’s problems and possibilities with artists and scientists. It allowed audiences to reflect on their own bodies and selves through discussions, performances and installations such as We are the Latest Models of our Ancestry, that challenged perceptions of museum objects and what and who they belong to and what they say about us when put into a museum.

But Open Platform has a special place in the Wellcome Collection schedule. While it focuses on short events and small-scale, the programme also is a way for the museum audience to build their own events and to be community activators.

Attend We Are Museums on June 12 & 13 and let Rosie Stanbury tell you all about it!

After extensive experiments from the Cooper-Hewitt around chatbots, other museums have gone on with experimenting with this new way of engaging their audiences.

At the end of last month, two chatbots joined the small crew of museum-powered conversational tools to inform audience everywhere about History and art.

On Facebook, a natural place for chatbots, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has launched a Messenger bot that allows users to discover the History of Anne Frank and her history on the one hand and find practical information about coming to the museum on the other hand.

On a historical level, the bot offers different conversation paths, allowing the users to choose between knowing more about different sides of Anne Frank’s story in bite-sized pieces that make it easy to grasp, from her diary to the World War II context it was written in. While the museum also allows visitors from the whole world to discover its on-site must-sees, it is also meant to help them understand the risks and effects of racism and discrimination that society is facing today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPH4vUWcN2U

While the Anne Frank House bot carries a strong social message, others are more strictly focused on the discovery of their collection. It is the case for the SFMOMA. Choosing a tech similar to the Cooper-Hewitt’s Object Phone by focusing on texting, the museum has been testing a service with which users send texts to their number with keywords and receive answers with a picture of a piece of the collection with its title, artist and year of creation. It is a way to make their artworks more accessible to users all around the world (although users outside of the US can be charged for texts to an American number), reaching out to different audiences as they did with their audioguide.

The project – called “Send me SFMOMA” – underwent a beta-test phase that is now over, but it could respond to anything from “Send me kite” to “Send me trucks”, sometimes answering with pictures that would miss the actual keyword. The testing phase is now over and the bot is momentarily not available to use, but we cannot wait to see how it evolves, maybe allowing more complex interactions, such as the access to more information about artworks or the ability to receive answers to more complex questions.

Discovering a new city is always a great excitement especially while browsing its museums.

If you want to attract creatives, really go for it

The Australian Center for Moving Image in Melbourne (Australia) offers dedicated creation spaces which are as rich and varied as its exhibition spaces to shape the happy makers of tomorrow. Thus, users can code games, make 360 VR movie, create animated movies and more, using the tech resources, conference room, green-screen, but can also browse the ACMI mediatheque or the Digital Learning Center (learn more on their website). A project worth highlighting is the national competition “Screen It” offering primary and secondary age students to build a game, shoot a short film or produce an animation for a national audience. 

Museum App: make it personal

Easy to access, easy to connect, easy to navigate, the mobile guide of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne is also really personal. The navigation experience is in accordance with our wishes and desires, highlighting the type of works or the colour we like; the guide remains aside, ready to help if necessary,.

Human-centered, the guide will provide audio content for each major work in the collection. It can feature a comment by another visitor, an artist or a curator or music composed especially for the work, or a simple anecdote showing which helps create an intimate experience.

The mobile guide also enables visitors to download the images they like and to share them or keep them as favorites  on your phone. It is a simple but practical option when you love to get good reproduction of a painting.

Make it – Sell it

Your National Gallery of Victoria visit experience will be completed in the shop where you will discover the great line of branded products NGV! As part of its exhibition, the museum sells wallpapers designed by the artists, or hats inspired by collections. The NGV has also given carte blanche to different artists to inspire jewelers and create the contemporary art jewellery Piece of Eight Gallery in Melbourne. 

It is no secret that, for the past years, museums have looked for always more ways to reach out to new audiences and launch concepts that are attractive beyond their walls. Of course, social media, immersive virtual museums and new ways to explore and reuse collections are part of this. But to provide a real life experience, some museums have chosen to expand their offer beyond exhibitions to create pop-up museums that let people visit major museums far from their home base.
But what can a pop-up museum bring to an institution and what can different experiences teach us – from the Centre Pompidou Mobile that travelled around France in 2012 and 2013 to the Micro-Folie that la Villette opened at the beginning of 2017 in Paris’s far suburbs?

1. Reach out to new audiences

It is pretty obvious: a pop-up museum away from a museum’s usual venue allows reaching a brand new audience. But who are you reaching with a new place? For the Micro-Folie – where visitors can interact with digitized exhibits from 8 majors Parisian museum – the target audience are disadvantaged young people from the Sevran, a town that is closer to an airport than it is to museums. The structure that is here to stay gives them a unique occasion to discover artworks from institutions that are one or two hours away, all in one place. With a different approach, the Centre Pompidou launched a mobile structure with real artworks that stopped for a few months in 6 cities in France, attracting more visitors than there were inhabitants in each city. While inhabitants from Sevran have very little chance to encounter art outside of the Micro-Folie, the Centre Pompidou Mobile stopped in cities that already had museums or artistic event. While the local audience was definitely new for the Centre Pompidou, it already had access to art in a local setting, which may have made it easier to attract.

2. Unite with other museums

In the Micro-Folie, visitors can create their own visit my choosing tours through artworks that will take them through exhibits from eight museums, from the Louvre to the Cité de la Musique. While the experience itself, with the café, the fablab and the stage, has been conceived by La Villette, museums have provided the content and helped create the way visitors can explore it. This builds bridges between artworks and exhibits in a quite unique way. It also required to properly train the museum staff: Guides are usually dedicated to one aisle or gallery of one museum; here, they need to know a bit about each artwork – and were chosen among local young people with no prior museum experience. But what better introduction to the museum and art world than learning about several museums at once and about how their collections can be linked?
Then, bringing several museums together allows to make the Micro-Folie even more attractive by bringing their brands together. What is stronger than the Louvre or the Palace of Versailles? The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, associated to the Centre Pompidou and the Musée Picasso, among others.

3. Create a brand new experience

Does it make sense to copy what happens in your museum in a small structure far away? No, it does not, especially if your goal is to attract an audience that is different from your usual one. The Jewish Museum Frankfurt understood it very well: For their Pop Up Boat that was open in September and October 2016, they create a very open and social place, filled with debates, talks and drink. It was a place to meet curator and experts from the Jewish Museum as well as other visitor in an informal setting. The museum is not an exhibition place where people meet anymore. It is now meant for people to meet and reflect. In a similar manner, the Micro-Folie in Sevran hosts a fablab, a café and a stage along with the digital museum – it is a place to meet, learn and create.

4. Be conversational

The Jewish Museum opened the Pop Up Boat as a space where visitors and professionals could discuss subjects linked to the Jewish community (Aliyah, religion and feminism…) and most interestingly subjects that are directly connected to the Museum and what it should be in the future, how it can be more open to everyone. As pop-up museums should attract a brand new audience, they are a perfect occasion to ask them why they are coming here but not to the museum’s original venue. What is missing for them to come? Are they even aware that you exist? What offer do they expect that you don’t have? If you want to leverage a pop-up museum to attract visitors to your museum, gather as much insight as you can, organize workshops about your museum, allow people to reinvent it and show them they will be listened to!

https://vimeo.com/200814036

5. Showcase your exhibits in a new way

What could your visitors do if you weren’t afraid for your exhibits? Now that most museums have high-definition digitized models of their art and artefacts, a pop-up museum is a great way to let visitors manipulate the objects. Europeana’s Pop Up Museum is a very light structure that lets visitors engage with exhibits thanks to their smartphone and discover video art in a small but immersive space with quizzes about art objects. The Micro-Folie also allows a different way to explore art: Imagine that you could zoom in on the Mona Lisa, enjoy every single detail of it and then be empowered to compare it with any artwork from the Palace of Versailles. Imagine that you could take any musical instrument from the Cité de la Musique and make it twirl to enjoy it from any point of view on a huge screen.

In an era when museums have more and more content and create more and more partnerships, internet is a great place to showcase any type of newly produced media. But as museums still are places to meet and gather – which is not physically possible online, pop up museums seem like a great solution to create new experiences around innovative content and with audience that could not have been reached otherwise. Did you experiment with a pop up museum yourself? We would love to hear your takeaways!

Last November, 14 museums and one monument all around the world got a shot of creativity and innovation thanks to Museomix, which allows teams made of makers, mediators, content experts, communication experts, coders and designer to create innovative device for museum audiences. I got lucky enough to work on social media communication with the co-organizers of #MuseomixEst, the first Museomix that took place in Eastern France: the CMN (with an amazing team led by Laure Pressac, who spoke about her work with startups at WAM16) and Saint-Ex Reims, a digital cultural center. The event took place in Reims at the Palais du Tau, a place where coronation feasts took place after French kings got crowned in the nearby Cathedral and that is now filled with statues gargoyles from the Cathedral, ancient tapestry and the precious royal treasure.

Here’s a look at the social media strategy I built with the co-organizers and how I implemented it before, during and after the event on Facebook and Twitter.
(Most of the links are in French, I am very sorry about that.)

Before the event

On social media

There are three things that we all should keep in mind when building a social media strategy: know your audience, know your goals, know what and who you can leverage.
Here, our goals were pretty clear: raise awareness about Museomix Est and highlight innovation within the CMN as well as the Palais du Tau itself to attract visitors and participants.
The core audience was, I guess, quite typical for a Museomix event: on the one hand, museum and monuments lovers; on the other, techies and innovation actors. The challenge here was to reach everyone who would fall not only into those categories, but also anywhere in between: content experts, makers and coders are definitely not enough for a team, so you have to be able to reach graphic designers, facilitators, communication experts that would want to join a creative adventure in a monument. Finally, a much broader audience of locals had to be turned into visitors who would come to test the devices on the third day of the Museomix Est and during the following week.
Of course, Museomix does not happen in a blank ecosystem and there are plenty of actors that we could rely on: First of all, co-organizers: the CMN and Saint-Ex, then partners and sponsors that are easy to find, and finally influencers that take a bit more work to map out but are are always happy to share content that fits their own audience. For us, those influencers included individual bloggers and Tweeters as well as institutions like the Cité de la Tapisserie in Aubusson, an institution dedicated to tapestry.
The other local Museomix teams also were of precious help, creating a real global dynamic.

To leverage them properly and encourage interactions, it was essential to share different types of content for each community (locals, art historians, makers…) by still building a real bridge between historical artefacts and digital culture (unicorns on tapestry!).
Highlighting the Museomix Est community, we started a face campaign with pictures of participants and quotes about why they wanted to join the adventure (I fully understood the strength of Canva thanks to this mission).

Outside of social media

During the months leading up to Museomix, each team has Aperomixes – drinks with all the contributors to the event – to brainstorm and find the best ways to create an environment in which everyone can make the most of their creativity, digging deeper into the preparation every time.

Different spaces for cater to all creative needs

Here is what you could find at Museomix Est:
– A fablab packed with amazing stuff, from Arduinos to 3D printers and laser cutters, plus the art and design school workshop with bigger devices, like wood cutters.
– A workshop where each team had their own space and stone-carvers and champagne experts were available to help.
– A huge dining room where we also had our plenary sessions (and where coronation feasts used to be served when France still was a kingdom)
– A mixroom that served at meeting point for the organization and communication teams.
– The whole Palais du Tau ready to be remixed.

During the event

I arrived at the Palais du Tau the day before but most of the team was already there to prepare the venue, create working stations for each group, check last logistic details. My role mainly was to take some backstage preparation picture for social media and attend the latest briefings for the 3 days. Day 1 started with a little ice breaker and a visit of the Palais du Tau after which the participants started brainstorming around there very first ideas. Goal: creating 7 teams around 7 projects (with themes that were defined in advance but non-binding) and going into greater depth of each project during the afternoon and the evening. The first evening was spent at Saint-Ex around drinks, some teams still brainstorming, some relaxing after a rich first day. The second day was all about hard-core prototyping between the fablab and the Reims art and design school. That night, we found some Museomixers still working on their project at 2am in our hostel. On the third morning, all project had to be finalized quickly for the crash-tests and then for the opening to the public at 3pm. Everyday at 6pm, we watched video recaps from all the other venues around the world, show our own made by our great video makers and got a presentation of each project from our own teams.

Contrary to most local editions, prototypes created by the teams stayed at the Palais du Tau for the whole week, which required the mediation teams to know how to handle the device and sometimes fix it.

One thing very quickly becomes obvious during Museomix: The 100+ people you are about to spend 3 days with are your temporary family from a parallel universe with private jokes, references that seems clear right-away, vocabulary that would not be understood by outsiders.
When communicating on social media, it is essential to take step back and remember for whom and why you’re posting: Even after 5 years, Museomix is unknown to many and a bit obscure to some, so sharing part of the private jokes (we had the most amazing puns) is what gives the event its identity, but it has to be conveyed in a way that is understandable to the masses.

Some local Museomixes did not impose anything in terms of communications, we just made everyone set a Twitter account to document their progress. We wanted something that would not take too much time but would still make my life easier by being social media eyes and ears throughout the event: I could either repost their content or choose to go and see by myself if something seemed interesting.
Obviously, strategies and posts need to be different for each social network: You are expected to post much more on Twitter than on Facebook.
Moreover, it is important to find the right balance between sharing content about the teams’ activities and giving them enough space to prototype their projects without disturbing them.

It is also crucial to remain flexible in your content creation: Some are Must-Have (tweets and Facebook albums for the big moments, daily video recaps), some are Nice-To-Have (a Mannequin Challenge, a video where everybody sums up their experience in one word…). If you don’t have time to do some things but have spontaneous ideas for others, it’s fine.

After the event

The Museomix website gathers descriptions of all the prototypes ever created – which is of course useful to introduce them to your audience. The teams in Reims created 7 prototypes, so I did a one prototype a day action on Twitter and Facebook, and share various content both thanking the Muxeomixers and showing fans and followers how they can keep interacting with the co-organizers.

While for me the “after Museomix” lasted 2 weeks on social media, I know that some museums in the Eastern area already want to organize a 2017 edition, so I cannot wait to see what they will do. It would be interesting to set an Instagram account showing a more day-to-day evolution as Switzerland did or to organize small gatherings and visits throughout the year as Ile-de-France does. It will be really interesting to see how they use the existing community to expand it to another city and another institution.

Then, one of the things that makes it hard for some people to wrap their head around what Museomix is is the fact that very few past prototypes got perpetuated – partly because of the lack of funding. Launching a crowdfunding campaign would be a great way to keep the community engages by making them feel like they are making the prototype possible through its funding.

Can you leverage other people’s creativity in your museum?

Sure! It will take you around a year to prepare, and I strongly advise you to first take part in a Museomix as a regular team member so you can understand their needs. But it is definitely worth it: you will be exhausted but incredibly happy to see how complete strangers can reinvent your institution and give you ideas about how you can innovate! It is impossible to create a long-term device in three days, but it is definitely possible to have great ideas that will make long-term projects possible? So if you want to see by yourself and be part of the Museomix 2017 edition, stay tuned for applications in June!

If you’ve been online just once during the past month, you have probably came across at least one video in which the time seems to stand still, the camera seemingly floating between people frozen in action. Well, that’s the now unmissable Mannequin Challenge.

Each year seem to get its viral video challenge. 2013 had the Harlem Shake, in 2014 people showered in ice cubes for the Ice Bucket Challenge, Drake’s Hotline Bling ruled 2015 and 2016 saw the Mannequin Challenge booming.

All those internet phenomena (and many others) have an enormous following on social media, with thousands of versions popping up, featuring anyone from Mark Zuckerberg and Taylor Swift to teachers from the school next door.

For the Mannequin Challenge – that started at the beginning of November – museums were not exactly massive early adopters, but some have successfully used it to showcase a bit of their everyday life, summed up in one motionless minute or two, like the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston or SCHIRN in Frankfurt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a6IslndHOI

If you have not filmed your mannequin challenge yet, the internet lifecycle makes it a bit too late, but here are some tips so you can make the most of the next opportunity!

  1. Keep an eye on what’s trending and act quick

Twitter may be the best place for that, as massive trends are easy to find through the trending topics… You should quite naturally find major hashtags and clicking on them should make their signification quite clear. This requires a your social media team to be truly internet-savvy, as they will quite possibly find out about the trends scrolling around the web for their personal use. Once the trend is found and the decision is taken, find how to get it going and where it fits it your social media schedule. A well-executed internet challenge allows a museum to reach an audience beyond their usually one, and certainly made of slightly younger folks. For example, the MFA Boston’s Mannequin Challenge feature above already has more than 66,000 views, vs. 2,000 to 10,000 views for the majority of their videos.

  1. Then again, don’t rush

Not every trend is worth your attention. A new challenge comes to life pretty much every week. Dancing, singing, planking, reciting the alphabet underwater… You name it! Some of them are real fads (fads that will last even less than 6 weeks and will reach just a small amount of people), some are here to stay (6 weeks is the new century), some seem to have a very small outreach but are huge in your core community. Some will be done in one click (sharing a cat from your collection on #InternationalCatDay), some will require more work. To have an idea of how big a trend is, click on its hashtag on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see who does it. Then, Google it. Are major media like Mashable or USA Today talking about it? It’s big, you can go for it – if it fits your image, of course.

Not every trend will allow you to highlight your collection, your staff, your events or even your visitors, so choose wisely and don’t pour a bucket of ice on your communications teams just yet. As James Doc from the Victoria & Albert Museum stated it in a presentation about adopting trends: Ask yourself if your organization has anything to say to the fad?

  1. Engage your staff all-year long

As those trends have a quite-short life time, you will want to create your content as fast as possible to make it impactful. As content like the Mannequin Challenge requires the involvement of museum curators and teams, you need to be able to make as little explaining as possible it you want to get the project going quickly. The museum staff will be more open to take part in a project that can seem like just a gimmick if they are aware of your long-term social media strategy… and if they are part of it with more serious content. Your Greek Antiquities curators may be easier to convince to stand still or to lipdub for a minute if they know who you are beforehand and knows that they will also do one or several videos in which they can share his work and passion with your fans and followers (or if you help them set up their own social media accounts!)

We do not know yet what trends 2017 will bring (will the post-it war come back? will we make human chain contests?), but we cannot wait to see how you and your teams will use them to shed light on your institution!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcotLagJgps

Each year, the IK Prize brings great inspiration to the museum world. It highlights innovations stemming from designers and creators, born between the walls of Tate where it grows in the public eye before being assessed and evaluated.  We were fortunate enough to have Tony Guillan, IK Prize Project Manager with us last June at We Are Museums 2016 in Bucharest to talk about the last multi-sensory project called Tate Sensorium, and are even more delighted to have him answer follow-up questions on next IK Prize project “Recognition“.

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Recognition is a project that can reach well beyond Tate to other museums and collections and also has a very clear online extension. Did it play a role when you chose them as IK Prize winner?
Recognition makes art relevant to people anywhere and everywhere, twenty-four seven. It really is a project born out of the digital age, technically (in terms of A.I.) but also culturally in terms of our fast-paced, information-filled lives. Humans have never had so much information about what’s going on in the world, and much of this information comes in image form. As soon as something happens on the other side of the planet you can see an image of it online. So, how do you make works of art, such as history painting, relevant and interesting in this crowded visual culture? You go with the (information) flow.

Fabrica’s proposal really stood out because we immediately realised the potential to engage a truly global audience – the project is limitless in the kinds of ideas, themes, subjects or places it could touch on. By comparing 500 years of British art to photojournalism from around the world, anything could come-up, but it would always have an immediate and often emotional relevance to lots of people. You can imagine someone saying: “I have never seen that artwork, and I don’t know the artist, but I know about that news story and isn’t it interesting, or funny, or strange (or whatever), how the two subjects have been depicted…” That’s a great way in.

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What are you attempting to show by matching art with recent photojournalism?
First and foremost the project is very accessible – when you see two images, potentially centuries and miles apart, but they look remarkably similar or the comparison is humorous, you get it. People immediately want to discuss and interpret the material, which is what we’re all about, getting people to discover and look at objects from our collection.

On the other hand, the project engages with some very complex issues. By asking ‘can a machine understand images like humans?’ you’re forced to ask the question ‘how do humans understand and respond to what they see?’ The machine’s process of objectively analysing images (based on objects, composition, faces, source context, etc.) produces matches that humans would perhaps not have made. Exploring why the machine thinks pairs are comparable makes you look at each image more closely, searching for formal similarities between the images that otherwise you might have overlooked. Whereas, in contrast, viewers often project thematic links or messages onto specific pairings that may or may not exist in reality, based on their knowledge or opinions of particular subjects, their memories, opinions or experiences. It reminds us that ‘meaning’ cannot be ‘analysed’ like a code, but rather stems from the viewer themselves.

Comparing the attributes of two very different categories of image, art and photojournalism, reminds us that the latter also consists of authored perspectives on the world. We’re used to thinking about artworks composing and transforming subject matter, but we rarely question the neutrality of the ubiquitous news image.

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On the website, Recognition is presented as an experiment about AI. Why is it interesting for Tate to turn its collection into a resource for a tech experiment?
Recognition is not as spectacular for the visitors as Tate Sensorium was but is fully accessible online. How does it make sense for a museum to support a project that won’t directly attract visitors?

The IK Prize is about experimentation – experimenting with new ways of exploring and understanding a collection of art that reflects our shred cultural history. Cutting-edge technologies not only provide us with new tools with which to navigate our crowded digital and physical environments, but these technologies can themselves offer new and interesting contexts in which to view our past, present and future. Can training an A.I. to analyse historical artworks make us look at them in new ways – make us reevaluate what they mean to us today?

The IK Prize is open to projects that use technologies in creative ways both online and in site-specific settings. Museums are no longer confined to their walls but have huge global audiences with whom to communicate; they are not only holders of objects but conduits for ideas and information. It is important that we use technologies to allow ideas to travel outside of the confines of the museum itself.

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What could be the takeaways of this experiment for the Tate teams? Is Tate planning to integrate AI in their research process?

The IK Prize is a great way to expose staff and audiences to new ways of doing things in a museum context. We’ve all learnt a lot about artificial intelligence, its current realities but most importantly its future possibilities. A.I. technologies are already changing the world around us – from medical advances to search engines, business to transport. What has become clear is that technologies like A.I. will undoubtedly become both medium and message for artists and museums wishing to engage with the biggest issues in our world today – so watch this space!

For the past several years, Israel has been a major tech and innovation hub, with startups like Waze, Fiverr and Viber gaining praise and users all around the world. It only makes sense that beyond professionals, tech-curious amateurs could experiment with innovation and bring their own ideas into life.

One of the world’s biggest fablabs

3d-printers-fablabil
After allowing the opening of a huge fab lab in the Museum of Science + Industry Museum in Chicago, the Wanger Family made a donation to MadaTech, the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology & Space, to open an even bigger fab lab (one of the world’s biggest ones, actually). The fab lab is part of MadaTech’s Innovation Center, which aims to expose visitors to innovative ideas, technologies and practices, and completes the museum’s mission by allowing visitors to actually experiment tech. With 27 3D printers, 30 digital design stations, laser cutter, digital milling stations, 3D scanners and plenty of room, the Wanger Family fab-lab is a place where people from 5 to up can come in, take part in workshops and try to become an actor of the tech ecosystem.

To make it easier to become a maker, MadaTech offer a full catalogue of courses that range from building the visitors own projects to introduction classes for various technologies and techniques. Along with advanced classes and family activities, MadaTech offers the opportunity to take part in Community activities, collective evenings that are open to anyone who wants to volunteer and help project that actually help the community, like board games for the visually impaired created by high school students.

By accepting the donation to create a fab lab, MadaTech expanded its mission from exhibiting science to actually engaging young people to find their own use of science.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6zs92CRZuc

A platform app to build content-oriented games

Other Israeli museums found a different way to engage teens and make them come back to explore their exhibitions. Have you heard about Museloop? Created by museum-lover Nathalie Half, this startup offers a solution for any museum that wants to easily create their museum app to engage teens.
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Through a simple platform, museums can upload their own content to set up a whole gamified experience that brings both fun and knowledge about collections and exhibitions. Puzzles, quizzes and various games that require thorough observation of the exhibits turn the app into a guide that forces teens to find answers to properly progress in the game before moving on to the next exhibition.
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The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Museum of Jewish People and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art have already launched their apps on both iOS and Android thanks to Museloop. The Israel Museum even gives away two free tickets to the highest scorer of each day so they can come back. As the apps require login, they also probably allow targeted CRM that can prove very effective in building a long-term relationship.

https://youtu.be/7gnzKiLldD0

A hackathon to foster future startups

If Israel has become the Startup Nation, it is because startups have been supported by the government, foreign embassies and universities. The same dynamic has been applied to a hackathon earlier this year. Last April, the Tower of David, a medieval citadel that has been known for always being innovative since its opening to visitors in 1989, has hosted “Hacking the Walls”, a hackathon aiming to bring culture, animation and AR/VR players together to create an Israeli ecosystem by enriching the visitor experience in museums.
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While the partners and sponsors of the event include organization whose mission is to promote innovation in Israel, like the high tech and entrepreneurship program Jnext and the Israel Innovation Institute, corporations like EY or Epson have also found it interesting to be part of this hackathon that aimed at finding new ways of using cutting-edge tech in a museum to embrace changes in the way people are meeting museums today. As TOP director of new media Eynat Sharon sums up, “Museums are a participatory experience today and the focus is the visitor and not the object anymore”, which explains the need to reinvent the offered experience through digital.
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Winners of the hackathon were a team called Zombie Rat, made of 2 adults and 3 high schoolers (innovation starts young!), that developed Escape the Kishle, an AR/VR-based escape game that uses the technology developed by WakingApp, an Israeli startup.

It offers a new innovation to the Tower of David, which found it important to be able to reinvent itself to attract a younger audience – even with an award winning mobile website and a museology that was only 3 years old and already used tech and design.
And what about a museum to display all those innovations? Well, it opens soon. All kinds of cutting-edge technologies are developed in Israel and they will be exhibited in one place as of 2018. The museum will aim to educate younger generations about tech and how it can change the world to maintain Israel’s position as a technological power. The four-floor building, supported by the government and located at theIsraeli Innovation Center, will not only be a great place to inspire future local entrepreneurs, but can also become a place for people from all around the world to gather ideas and best practices from one of the most innovative countries in the world.

Tomorrow is September 16th, and it is the opening of Take Me (I’m Yours) at the Jewish Museum NYC. The exhibition is a recreation of an exhibition that first took place at the Serpentine Gallery in 1995 and then at La Monnaie de Paris in 2015. It is a group show of more than 40 artists who create small specific artworks that are produced in 10,000 pieces each for the visitors to take away.

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What sets the Jewish Museum edition of the exhibition apart is the creation of a community prior to the exhibition through crowdfunding. Of course, launching a kickstarter campaign to fund Take Me (I’m Yours) on the one hand caters to the need of financing for a very costly exhibition. Then again, it also is a way to create a real community around the museum – a community that will be extended by the visitors who will take the artworks. As Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs of the Jewish Museum Jens Hoffmann says “Every museum is part of a community and is a community, and a community is about giving and sharing.”
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Crowdfunding is also a way to share pieces of the exhibition with people who won’t necessarily be able to visit Take Me (I’m Yours). Indeed, the rewards include artwork by the artists that take part in the exhibition. Backers will receive a piece a community home, starting at the very affordable price of $25: Laurence Weiner temporary tattoos, Alex Israel pins, postcards from Hans Ulrich Obrist…

Kickstarter creates a real Receive Me (I’m Yours) dynamic through contributions that are significant to the realization of the exhibition, instead of just the purchase of an artwork.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/hNSOmstnRok

Language and words are a very precious tool in learning History and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum knows it better that anyone. Indeed, the camp it is located in is often wrongfully called a “Polish death camp” or “Polish extermination camp” while it was a Nazi camp set in occupied Poland.
To prevent journalists, writers and all types of content creators from making that mistake again, the Auschwitz Memorial launched a couple of weeks ago an app – Remember – that spellchecks as you type in Word or TextEdit and browse the internet. Using the red underlines that are usually used for spelling mistakes, the app draws the user’s attention to the spot(s) were the wrong expression is used.

The app raises awareness to the importance of naming historical events and places properly to be able to understand History. Since January 2016, when the app was launched, no new uses of “Polish death camp” have been found. It can be considered a success for the app that helps to educate content creators in a simple, non-invasive way. Remember may mainly be installed by people who write, but their words reach millions of people. And for those who would find the mistake online, Remember suggests that they send authors the link to download the app.