Andy: An Interactive Museum Guide 

A New Experience For An Age Old Space

Service Design / Interaction Design - Individual work completed in the course Environments Studio I.

ANDY is an earpiece and projection-based system that communicates information about art pieces to museum visitors.  It was designed to address inadequate gallery labels for a project aimed at improving the museum going experience.



Many individuals are attracted to the idea of going to museums, but few actually attend them regularly. This is because there is currently a disconnect between the potential knowledge that could be gained from visiting a museum and what actually ends up being acquired.

This is primarily a communication issue. Individuals have difficulty accessing the information that they need to fully appreciate and enjoy the exhibits. The current model for doing this relies almost entirely on item labels located beside artwork. Although this system has its benefits, it also comes with a host of problems. 



Improve method of communicating information:  Help users to absorb the information in a way that complements the activity of viewing artwork instead of competing with it. Users should not feel as if they have to divide their attention between a piece of art and the information about it. 


Vary the quantity of information offered: Parse the information into manageable quantities and allow users to self select what they would like to learn.



An earpiece-based audio system that communicates information about art pieces to museum visitors. To create an engaging and customizable experience, it also receives user input from interactions within the gallery environment through a series of sensors and projectors. 



Earpieces would be distributed at the entrance of the museum and the entryways of galleries. To unlock an earpiece, a user would scan the bar code on his or her ticket. The dispensers would keep track of each barcode and only allow a user to take out one earpiece at a time.


Interaction Within Gallery Space

If a user gains interest in a particular piece he or she would approach the piece, passing over a threshold that activates a projector.



Some of the technology mentioned below, particularly concering the earpiece, has either recently been invented or will exist within the next few years. Sensors that are able to recognize hand motions are currently used in the Microsoft Hololens. In addition, companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft are currently exploring indoor positioning systems.



This concept is a product of a two week long project aimed at improving the museum going experience. Due to logistics and scope, we focused on Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA). Most of this time was spent visiting the space itself, speaking to visitors, and iterating upon my idea. 


Maayan Albert © 2019 |