Immersive Narratives and Memories The Design of Digital-Enhanced Visitor Experience

Marco Borsotti, Marco Mason

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In 2015 the conference Between the Discursive and the Immersive: Research in the 21st Century Art Museum by Louisiana and Stedelijk Museum, identified these two terms, discussed mainly concerning exhibitions, as indicators of a shift in the contemporary method of offering culture. Discoursive refers to a new curatorial form of interdisciplinary and synesthetic programming, while immersive looks at the spectacularization of the exhibition. This article, in the first part, introduces the term narrative, in between them. Through a narrative system, exhibitions relate themself to the visitor no longer only in terms of appropriate reproduction of knowledge, but rather in terms of generation of knowledge. Narrative amplifies the meaning of discoursive and declines it as the communicative capacity of the complex relational system “collection-significance-visitor”, opening up to a critical review of the concept of immersive, which often, operatively, it is interpreted in a purely filmic way. The second part introduces the concept of the Post-digital Museum (Parry, 2013) as a con- struct that contextualizes the “narrative” instance within the recent discourse of museum digital transformation. Any reading of design practices (Mason & Vavoula, 2021) within contemporary museums cannot ignore a paradigm shift in Digital Cultural Heritage, in which digital has be- come naturalized in museums’ “way of thinking.” This integration “marks a continued development of the museum’s concept and practice” (Arvanities, 2015). The post-digitally discourse will allow us to set the theoretical context and conclude with some reflections and illustrative examples on the practice of visitor experience design (Mason, 2017) in post-digital museums, which is particularly associated with the “design of narrative environments” (Austin, 2020).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Specialist publicationPAD: Pages on Art and Design
PublisherAiap Edizioni
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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