Putting the "Play" Back into Display: Interactive Exhibits in Small Museums
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Museums of the late 20th and into the 21st century are moving from a focus on collections to museum audiences. The result of this shift culminates in more diverse programming, as well as more inclusive exhibition design for a participatory experience. Interactive displays and technology are often utilized to encourage a more hands-on museum visit. This graduate research project lays a foundation for the historical context of exhibits and interpretation; explores museum theorist insights on visitor needs; researches the internal and external influences of exhibition development; and ultimately answers the question of how museums can develop interactive displays on a minimal budget. The purpose of the research is to offer guidance for museums to create interactive exhibits on a small budget, while including computer-based and noncomputer-based activities. The result of this research is a comprehensive list of interactive display categories and suggestions for how inexpensive and sustainable technologies can be woven into the exhibition development plan.