Sustainability Consultancy for Cultural Institutions


@BrooklynMuseum’s App ASK Engages Visitors with Artwork


Credit Brooklyn Museum

The free ASK Brooklyn Museum app has been in testing this past year and it just launched on iOS and became available on Android last month. The innovative technology is unique to the museum, said Shelley Bernstein, the vice director of digital engagement and technology at the museum, and was implemented to help visitors better engage with and make connections between the works in the 560,000-square-foot museum.

The app only works in the museum but it allows visitors to ask questions and share photos of objects on display in real time. On average, a member of the six-person Audience Engagement Team will respond within 45 seconds. The exchange is as anonymous as the user wants it to be.

It is important to note that the Museum wants to promote engagement and not have people getting sucked into their phones.” Audience Engagement Team member Andrew Hawkes says, “they’re looking more closely at the art, they’re noticing things, they’re thinking more critically about the work and learning more. That’s a really great feeling.”

Since its launch, there have been about 4,000 conversations through the app. The museum is using data pulled from those exchanges to improve collection installations and exhibition design. It expects about 1% of visitors overall to use the app.

As, Bernstein says, “there’s lots of information in the building, and some want this experience, some want a guided experience. It fits within that framework.”

We are definitely excited to see how ASK will promote audience engagement and get visitors to look at the artwork in new creative ways.


How the British Museum Uses VR to Increase the Learner Experience


This past weekend the expanded it’s teaching horizons to include using Virtual Reality. It’s not the first time a museum has done this using headsets and likely won’t be the last.
As a child I spent many, many hours in museums, forts, castles, pretty much any kind of cultural institution. So, I know it’s hard to get excited about ceremonial bracelets of the Bronze Age, you sort of glaze over. But if you can be transported back in time and feel like you are there, then the information becomes an experience.
To create this special experience Education Managers at the British Museum Samsung Digital Discovery Centre used 5 Gear VR headsets, 2 Note tablets and an immersive dome with an interactive screen. There are 3 stations in all and each one displays a prehistoric roundhouse environment housing 3D scans of objects in the museum’s European Bronze Age collection, which have various ways as to how they are used.


It’s difficult to teach prehistory like the Bronze Age but with VR you can take audience engagement to a whole new level. Undoubtedly, we will see museums using VR more and more as technology advances and museums continue to search for new ways to engage and enlighten their audiences. It’s really kind of a perfect match, using technology of new to teach knowledge of old, the nerdy part in all of us can appreciate that. For more information check out the British Museum .