Exhibitionist Journal article - Nano: Creating an Exhibition that is Inclusive of Multiple and Diverse Audiences

  • Exhibitionist Journal Fall 2015 cover
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Description

This article appeared in Fall 2015 issue of the *Exhibitionist*, a journal of reflective practice published by the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME), a Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This article first appeared in Exhibitionist (Fall 2016) Vol. 34 No. 2, and is reproduced with permission. Article focuses on the Nano, a 400-square-foot interactive exhibition designed by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) that is hosted simultaneously at 93 sites across the country, including science centers, children’s museums, libraries, and other informal learning organizations. This distribution model brings the exhibition to sizeable audiences: in 2015 alone, Nano will reach 11 million people. The exhibition’s audience is multiple and diverse, due to the variety in the host sites type, size, and geographic location. In order to ensure that Nano was accessible to visitors with a range of physical and cognitive abilities and inclusive of visitors from diverse cultural backgrounds, the exhibition team embraced Universal Design principles during all phases of planning, development, evaluation, and fabrication. In this article, we describe the exhibition’s goals related to accessibility, inclusion, learning, and engagement; explain the team’s development process; provide examples of strategies, practices, and design decisions that may be relevant to other exhibition projects; and briefly summarize the results of extensive visitor evaluation and research as they relate to Universal Design. Authors: Rae Ostman is Associate Research Professor, Arizona State University and Catherine McCarthy is Project Leader, Science Museum of Minnesota

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Funding

Acknowledgement: This article was supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Owning institution

Article appeared in Fall 2015 issue of the Exhibitionist a journal of reflective practice, published by the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME), a Professional Network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This article first appeared in Exhibitionist (Fall 2016) Vol. 34 No. 2, and is reproduced with permission. Authors: Rae Ostman is Associate Research Professor, Arizona State University and Catherine McCarthy is Project Leader, Science Museum of Minnesota