Imperial War Museum Image of Social Interpretation Blog title

So. The Social Interpretation. She goes live today. The first bit anyway. 6 kiosks for visitors to comment on 6 objects. And 8 QR Codes that resolve to shiny new IWM mobile web pages, for the associated objects. It has taken an inordinate amount of time and effort to get this far. But then exhibition things are never straightforward, seamless, unproblematic or, even, easy.

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The Chillingworth factory relax in front of the fire in the living room of their suburban London home.

This guest post is from Alex Willett, Exhibitions Manager at IWM.

A Family in Wartime is the next major exhibition opening at Imperial War Museums London in April 2012, and as such the perfect project in which to integrate and test the social interpretation strand through the design development.  The exhibition will focus on the Second World War home front in the UK, and specifically one family – the Allpress family – who lived at 36 Priory Grove, London.

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In the Red Corner... Two Youth Service Volunteers having a boxing match at an agricultural camp at Nunney Catch in Somerset during 1943. (D 16345,

In the most recent Project Board and Content meetings, we got into a really interesting debate (bear with me).

To enable Social Interpretation, we’re going to install 11 fixed-kiosks in IWM London, four in IWM North, and 50 QR codes between the two museums. At its heart, the debate turned on which objects we’re going to enable direct Social Interpretation against – and specifically how we choose them.

In the Red corner:
The ‘Classic’ Museum View, and for the sake of this, me.

In the Blue corner:
The User-Centred-Design Jedi’s view, and for the sake of this, Claire.

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