Ready for a new cultural experience…

Beyoncé and Jay-Z In front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, Paris, during the filming of Apes**t.

This time of the year sees lots of preparation for the semester ahead. Next week I am at Rennes School of Business for my annual short course on User Experiences in the culture sector, for students in the Msc in Creative Project Management, Culture & Design. The course covers, User Experience (UX) and Brand Experience (BX) and uses Design Thinking tools to work through a project for a local art museum in Rennes.

I will be using Apes**t by Beyoncé and Jay-Z, which was filmed extensively in the Louvre Museum, as a part of my presentation, as the video helped to radically changed the user-profile of visitors in this museum to those under 30 and black.

« The “Ape—-” video is important because people of color rarely have the opportunity to claim such spaces, but it also perpetuates the dangerous notion that art is a luxury. »

The video, viewed more than 150m times online, was seen as an important comment on the representation of power in art, and on race and colonialism, as well as being a conversation starter for young visitors. It led the museum to create a special visitor guide based on the video, which was a success and gave the permanent collection what one museum worker called the feeling of a “cool brand”.The thematic trail can be printed off, or followed on your phone via the art museum’s website

In this Introductory course, we cover the 4 Realms of an Experience by Pine and Gilmore (1998, 2011) and their importance in creating unique, user-focused, experiences, through to cultural consumption – in particular, the Instagram effect and the digitalization of cultural experiences; populism and elitism. This year, we will also be looking at 4 of the UN’s sustainable development goals of:

  • 03 – Good health and well-being
  • 04 – Quality education
  • 10 – Reduced inequalities
  • 12 – Responsible consumption and production

Did you know, for example, that Psychiatrists in Brussels are prescribing visits to art galleries and museums for those with anxiety?

There are also many artists focusing on recycled artworks to start a discussion about the amount of waste and its impact on the environment. Here is one example…

Image courtesy of Alejandro Aravena

Over the 5 days, the students will visit a local art gallery and will observe and interview both staff and visitors to find out how the visitor experience could be improved. They will then log all of this information using Design Thinking and UX Experience tools and come up with final sketch ideas and quick prototypes to get some feedback. Finally, they will create a story around their project to bring it to life.

If you are interested in offering a course of this nature, please get in touch.

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