Educating the attention of museum visitors through non-verbal art mediation

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The use of technology in art museums is usually limited to communicating verbal information such as interpretive text and audio guides, or to facilitating social experiences. This paper presents a Research through Design study of an immersive room-scale installation in an art museum. The aim was to afford non-verbal art mediation and educate the attention of museum visitors to certain aspects of a series of paintings. The installation was based on recent art historical research and aimed to use this research to facilitate a new perspective on the artworks. The installation was created through a one-year-long iterative process that involved diverse stakeholder groups of experts, visitors, and non-visitors in testing and formative evaluation. The final design was part of the opening of the new [XX] museum in October 2021 and was visited by almost 80,000 people in four months. Through interviews with 47 visitors, we evaluate how their experience corresponds with the design intent, and how the installation through non-verbal means drew their attention to aspects of the related artwork. We find that the installation largely evokes the intended aesthetic qualities and support reflection on Edvard Munch’s life and artistic practice. Finally, we discuss the use of education of attention as a lens for design practitioners to conceptualize and evaluate how their designs mediate learning and interpretive practices for art museum visitors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication IASDR 2023 : Life-Changing Design
EditorsD De Sainz Molestina, L Galluzzo, F Rizzo, D Spallazzo
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationMilan, Italy
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventIASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design - Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
Duration: 9 Oct 202313 Oct 2023


ConferenceIASDR 2023
LocationPolitecnico di Milano
Internet address


  • Art Mediation
  • Education of Attention
  • Design
  • Immersive


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