it takes a village… to participate

This week I wanted to explore Nina Simon’s article The Participatory Museum, Five Years Later. I found the thought behind the article to be an interesting one, in that she gave the initial book publication time to be absorbed, and allowed herself time to reflect on the ideas she set forth with the book The Participatory Museum. It was fascinating to see how the waves the book made since its publication, changing the questions of museum participation from “’what?’ and ‘why?’ to ‘how?’” within the museum field. It is interesting to see that museums are becoming more participatory and it really shows that the world of learning centers are continuing to change with the times.

I also found it interesting that Simon, while not necessarily changing her view on participation in museums, but rather shifting it to a different focus. What I identified most with was the idea of facilitated participation as an important piece to the evolution of participatory spaces regardless of the environment. Encouragement drives participation. From my own experience I can definitely say that I am not a fan of participation really, I prefer to watch or observe. Being encouraged into doing things one is not comfortable doing certainly helps motivate the person to take a chance and get out and try it. Sharing experiences is really the key to all experience. Even when we experience something alone, we instantly want to share it with a friend or loved one. Creating experience form users to share with each other invites more participation and more enjoyment for everyone.

Simon, N. (2015). The participatory museum, five years later. Retrieved from http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-participatory-museum-five-years.html.

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