Seeing with New Eyes: Designing for In-the-Wild Museum Gifting

Jocelyn Spence, Benjamin Bedwell, Michelle Coleman, Steve Benford, Boriana Koleva, Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr, Nick Tandavanitj, Anders Sundnes Løvlie

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


This paper presents the GIFT smartphone app, an artist-led Research through Design project benefitting from a three-day in-the-wild deployment. The app takes as its premise the generative potential of combining the contexts of gifting and museum visits. Visitors explore the museum, searching for objects that would most appeal to the gift-receiver they have in mind, then photographing those objects and adding audio messages for their receivers describing the motivation for their choices. This paper charts the designers' key aim of creating a new frame of mind using voice, and the most striking findings discovered during in-the-wild deployment in a museum -- 'seeing with new eyes' and fostering personal connections. We discuss empathy, motivation, and bottom-up personalisation in the productive space revealed by this combination of contexts. We suggest that this work reveals opportunities for designers of gifting services as well as those working in cultural heritage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, May 04-09, 2019
EditorsStephen Brewster, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Anna Cox, Vassilis Kostakos
Number of pages13
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication dateApr 2019
Article number5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5970-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
EventACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Weaving the Threads of CHI - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019


ConferenceACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • gifting
  • museums
  • cultural heritage
  • personalization
  • voice


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