The Sensational Museum

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The Sensational Museum strives to make commonplace inclusive and alternative means of interventions accessible to all audiences in the UK museum sector.

A primary focus of the heritage industry is to provide a memorable, inclusive, and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

“‘access provision such as audio description, British Sign Language (BSL), audio-guides, interactive content, and community and educational programming.”

“Most museums are created by and for non-blind (sighted) people. (This blog post explains why we use the word ‘non-blind’ rather than the word ‘sighted’.)”

However, access provision perpetuates a gap between the abled and the disabled. Prompting the Sensational Museum to rethink its access strategy, starting with disregarding the prevalent museum assumptions of:

  1. “there is a fixed array of five bodily senses
  2. sight is the most important sense of all”

….and introducing ” Sensory Gain”, in a similar way to the “Blindness Gain” concept, hypothesises that engaging several senses can enrich a person’s experience regardless of whether they are using that sense to gain access.

To achieve their objective structure and drive the research, the museum will use interactive design logic, following these steps:

  1. prepare an overview of the new sensory logic
  2. prototype an inclusive co-creation toolkit and data model
  3. pilot and evaluate these prototypes with museum professionals and visitors across the UK
  4. refine and promote the outputs in publications, conferences, and exhibitions.

Part of the great work offered by The Sensational Museum is fantastic resources such as their Glossary, The Sensational Museum Style Guide, and more, of course in multiple platforms and formats!

[ Personal favourite: The Sensational Team are listening to: What Did The Past SMELL like?]

Our Take

As with all-inclusive and innovative access methods, we adore the Sensational Museum’s actions, but where it stands out as a project, aside from its actions, is the large effort to redefine the language and create a vocabulary that fills all the gaps in the existing literature, and therefore, thinking in the sector.

I want to learn more:

The Sensational Museum

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