By listening to the voices of young people National Museums Scotland recognised the need to recruit a national youth engagement team to develop a relevant programme of work and test a range of different engagement methods.
Working with one of our consortium partners, Young Scot, a team of dedicated young people signed up as volunteers and took on the task of exploring the needs of their peers by producing ideas and prototypes.
Featured below is the Dedicated Visitor Experience project which was delivered by the young volunteers.
How Might We...
create and offer dedicated visitor experiences for 16 – 25 year olds *Inspiration Seekers?
Inspiration Seekers are...
Young people who are not currently motivated to visit museums/heritage sites now or in the future.
Thanks to our young people
Brontë, Eleanor, Hannah, Jessica, Kat, Rebecca, and Ryan.
Through desk research and exploration workshop sessions, a couple of key themes dominated early conversations and remained important to the group’s objectives throughout, ensuring that young people’s needs, and interests would be at the heart of an engaging visitor experience.
Discussions here reflected on the development of an autism resource, enhanced signage and posters, and utilising opportunities for trails to align with accessible themes, i.e., disability month in November. However, the group wanted to be mindful about not isolating other groups by creating an experience that focuses on one accessibility need over another.
This theme engaged the full project group from the beginning. The group members spoke of the range of opportunities that existed here, from collaborating with young Scottish based designers to exploring how the body could become part of an immersive ‘exhibition. They also spoke about a Hidden History theme, relating to stories or voices that may have been excluded previously from traditional exhibition spaces, to explore multiculturalism through the lens of fashion.
“To challenge the perceptions of the museum through the lens of fashion and the body.
During this stage the young people met with key museum staff including the Principal Curator of Contemporary Design, which informed their approach and gave insights into considerations which lead to such design in the museum. The group settled on the fashion gallery as a key area for development to take forward. It supported the group’s intention to build an immersive, engaging, and accessible experience with a sense that fashion has instant relatability for the target audience.
During a residential weekend of workshops, the Youth Engagement Team designed a paper prototype designed to challenge perceptions of the museum through the lens of fashion and the body. This concept led to further testing and the creation of a brief, whereby the group commissioned a UX Designer to develop a digital prototype to bring their fashion gallery concept to life.
During the collaborating with the UX Designer, the team were presented with three concepts to choose from. After careful consideration ‘Regal Rebel’ a visual history of tartan, was selected as the most engaging concept for our inspiration seeker audience. Final adjustments were made, and the captivating digital prototype was delivered to the Youth Engagement Team.
Throughout the process, the young people developed their knowledge and skills of co-design, heritage and the museum, honing insights and establishing an understanding of the wider context their project sits within. Through engagements with internal staff, external organisations and wider groups of young people, insights have been strengthened to represent a range of views and needs.
With this, the Dedicated Visitor Experience team highlight some key reflections and priorities related to their project aims to consider moving forward.