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Containers of Stories: using co-design and digital augmentation to empower the museum community and create novel experiences of heritage at a house museum

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caroline ClaisseORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This paper presents current research on the design and evaluation of tangible interaction within house museums – a particular type of heritage site. Containers of Stories was an interactive installation co-designed with the volunteers at the Bishops’ House museum, one of the few surviving Tudor buildings in Sheffield, UK. Dating from the 16th century, the house was turned into a museum in the 1970s for its historical and social importance and is now managed by a community of local volunteers who constantly needs to increase both visitors’ interest and awareness of the place for its survival. The experience of co-designing Containers of Stories pushed the volunteers beyond day-to-day management toward more creative and curatorial roles. This paper gives insights on how this hybrid physical-digital installation succeeded in engaging visitors in new ways with heritage that has the potential to strengthen the resilience of the community.Design research, Co-design, Tangible interaction, Heritage, Community engagement

Publication metadata

Author(s): Claisse C, Ciolfi L, Petrelli D

Editor(s): Di Lucchio L; Imbesi L; Atkinson P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Design for Next: Proceedings of the 12th European Academy of Design Conference

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: S2906-S2918

Online publication date: 06/09/2017

Acceptance date: 01/02/2017

Date deposited: 26/10/2020

ISSN: 1460-6925

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14606925.2017.1352801

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: The Design Journal

ISBN: 9781138090231