[MUSEUM TOUR] New York Historical Society Museum

During the summer vacation, I was interning AMNH and always passed the New York Historical Society museum. I was curious of the museum and I heard the museum has lots of interactive installations.

My first impression of the museum was fancy, clean and modern. Many signs were digital displays, used many glassy materials.

There were interactive information installations. While people can tilt left to right and touch the object to see the information. When I found it at first as a reference I thought it is AR project. But it wasn’t. The handle was very heavy and sturdily made.  I like the arrangement of historical art items and digital displays in the same space. Visitors can assume that the concept of this museum and how they use digital media to explain the New York’s history.

The handle was very heavy and sturdily made.  I like the arrangement of historical art items and digital displays in the same space. Visitors can assume that the design concept of this museum and how they use digital media to explain the New York’s history.

There were lots of digital displays. At first, I thought they were just displays, but they were all touch screens and have more information. Personally, I thought it was too much. No one wanted to read the long text in front of 9 vivid displays. (behind there are so many interesting real objects!)

The Gallery of Tiffany Lamp 

Interior and stair were gorgeous and modern, and the Tiffany lamps were sophisticated and colorful.

There is very simple interactive installation in the Tiffany gallery.  It was pushing the button below and watching the light up the building models. If it has more narratives or sequences of the lighting up then it would be great.

And the buttons!! Every digital installation here was used very sturdy metal buttons or interfaces, except this! These are plastic buttons that we normally used for prototyping.

This installation was my favorite in the museum! It was very authentic and fun.  There is the big neat black table with copper conductive sensor parts that are representative the each pattern of the colors. and there is a metal knob to choose the color. Then the color changes and customizes the lamp color.

The each drawer has different color and patterns of glass on the light box. It was so beautiful to look at it.

But the text “Open drawer” is too small that people can notice. I saw many people skipped this installation.

Even though there are so many cool interactive or digital installations, some are very unkind. I think we need to think about the balance of between the authentic side of installations and informative ways.

(People cannot find the buttons below their knee height without any informing color or text! )

In addition, I felt there was too much information to the information board.  Because of the glass barrier, people could not read it closely. It feels like too small and too many texts of the wall.

Also, many information panels were located at the bottom. So I thought It was good for kids, but the text size is too small. It was very difficult to read it.

I was very much enjoyed some embedded display installations. It explained the usage and story without reading!  Shadow animation was very well harmony with real historical objects.

Chair and toilet!

I think this museum is very well commercial sections. It has two fancy restaurants and a big museum shop and a small special exhibit shop(Eloise).

This application is located in the museum shop and can order the pictures with fully customized frame and size.

Actually, I enjoyed New York Historical Society museum a lot. Most of installations and displays are well organized and designed enough to enjoy all aged people. Especially I could see many white old, mid aged people, they read the text fully and spent their time more than young people. I think it is very important to consider each age people’s needs and behavior patterns.

 

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