THE MAX

ARTIST STUDIO - MASTERCLASS

Art museums typically offer a didactic model of observation and reading. Introducing active learning by inquiry is an opportunity for visitors to understand how art is made by doing it hands-on. Here is the story of transforming museum visitors into creators.

Masterclass (Artist Studio) is a series of two interactive exhibits at The MAX (Mississippi Arts Experience), providing a hands-on learning experience about the unique techniques and creative process of iconic painters and potters through physical and gestural interaction.

Painting
Pottery

EXPERIENCE GOALS

Convey the stories of inspiration and unique art-style of featured Mississippi artists

Introduce painting and pottery techniques to visitors who have no experience with the arts.

SETTING THE STAGE

At the core of each experience is a guided masterclass with a profound style and techniques of a featured artist. Users create their art-piece as a take on the artist’s style. They can collect their artwork on a personal web gallery and share it on multiple platforms.

Each exhibit is comprised of a core app, running on a large screen and a control app running on an iPad.

The exhibit hardware is built to simulate the setup for painting and poetry (pottery wheel, easel, brush, palette) for a strictly literal mental model.

LEARNING STYLES

Visual Learning

Interaction with an animated story to zoom into key-points in the artist’s work.

Experiential Learning (Learning by Doing)

Learning by Doing. Hands-on experimentation with artwork creation.

BUILDING BLOCKS

Guided by research, the design process started with translating academic content into an intuitive flow with a shallow learning curve. We synthesized three main techniques or traits of each artist into steps in the masterclass interaction flow. These building blocks are also the foundation for an animated interactive intro to the artists and their life story.

CONTENT & INTERACTION

Challenge – Translate unique artistic methods  to simple interaction patterns. Introduce visitors to pottery and the use of a pottery wheel using a hand motion sensor.

Solution – Study the unique characteristics of each featured artist and translated them into user input methods with enough variability for creative and diverse yet aesthetic results.

TESTING & ITERATIONS

Challenge – User-testing revealed that the story, gesture training, and masterclass have to be individual and sequential stages with different types of user input.

Solution – Iterative development of modular components that can be tested individually. Implement touch interaction for navigation and content. Reserve gestural interaction for the masterclass.

Initial high fidelity wireframes - Gestural interaction for navigation
User testing
Onboarding timed for each step in the masterclass

Year: 2018

Planning & Exhibition Design:  Gallagher & Associates

Architect: LPK Architects