Arup Report: Museums in the Digital Age

The report ‘Museums in the Digital Age’ (Author: Josef Hargrave) published in October 2013 by the consulting engineering firm Arup envisages a dynamic future for museums.
Moving beyond static objects in glass cases, the report outlines how future museums will see personalised content, new levels of sustainability and a visitor experience extended beyond present expectations of time and space. This report highlights a number of key trends that will continue to have a significant impact on the user experience and design of future museums.


Happy Museums are good for you – New Research report. #heritagefutures

From The Happy Museum blog entry 10/04/13

The Happy Museum Project wants museums to play an active part in a sustainable future, by fostering wellbeing that doesn’t cost the Earth. So it’s helpful to have the proof that museums do make you happy, in the form of a report from ‘Happiness Economist’ Daniel Fujiwara of the London School of Economics.

Happy Museum used funding from the Arts Council to commission the analysis. It follows two years of action-research with twelve museums commissioned to develop wellbeing that’s fair on people and planet. The findings show that museums improve people’s happiness and perception of good health, even after you’ve accounted for other factors that might be influencing them. The report shows that people value visiting museums at over £3,000 per year.

As a result, the analysis concludes that it is crucial to make sure more people can visit museums and it learnt that the biggest reason people don’t is that they were not taken to museums by a parent as a child. Those people are 17% less likely to visit than others, a much bigger effect than say, being from a low-income group. The people who are most likely to visit museums are the more educated, and price and accessibility are important too.

Measuring what matters is a core principle for the Happy Museum Project. The director Tony Butler says, “counting visitors tells us nothing about quality, or wellbeing. Museums are adept at storytelling, but we wanted the longitudinal or quantitative evidence that might influence policy makers”.

To read Fujiwara’s full report download it here: Museums and Happiness – Research Report

Counting what Counts: what big data can do for the cultural sector (NESTA report). #heritagefutures

Counting What Counts: what big data can do for the cultural sector (NESTA report)

The current approach to the use of data in the cultural sector is out-of-date and inadequate.

The sector as a whole and the policy and regulatory bodies which oversee it are already failing to make the most of the considerable financial and operational benefits which could arise from better use of data. In addition, a significant opportunity to better understand and possibly increase the cultural and social impact of public expenditure is going begging.

It is high time for a step-change in the approach of arts and cultural bodies to data and for them to take up and build on the management of so-called “big data” in other sectors.

This report aims to set the issues in a wide strategic context. The overall objective is to help senior cultural decision-makers to understand the importance and urgency of the need to think differently about the potential of big data and to encourage them to set in train changes to the environment, the metrics and the skills to make the most of big data which are needed to harness its potential.

February 2013

Anthony Lilley with Professor Paul Moore