Recommendations for Creating Participatory Museum Projects

A recent research looks at the benefits, opportunities and challenges of public participation in research museums. The report, which was published in Ecsite’s magazine Spokes , also offers a hands on suggestions of how to plan and implement new participatory projects.

Wiebke Rössig and Lisa Jahn led the research project “Visitor Participation in the Museum of Natural History Berlin for the Promotion of Science Communication and Knowledge Transfer" that was carried out at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in Germany for two years. The goal of the research was to identify, develop and test new participatory methods and elements for the exhibitions.

The research identified three pillars as a basis for the participation of visitors to the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin:

  1. Creating spaces for participation,

  2. Enabling multi-perspectivity and

  3. Bringing debates on social topics into the museum and enabling an intensive exchange and mutual learning.

After giving an overview of participation theory, the researchers moves on to explaining the research findings and conclude by offering recommendations and a checklist for museums that wish to develop a new participatory project.

Read the full article here.