The Museum Exhibit Project
The Lowbrow Era

The Lowbrow
 Team

Although I had a hand in every aspect of this project, I was the main lead in multiple ideation sessions, conducted the wizard of oz testing, and creating the 3D atmosphere.

Project Brief

What is Lowbrow?

Lowbrow is an art movement with its cultural roots in underground comix, punk music, tiki culture, and hot-rod. This lead to the concept of counter culture, which is what our experience is based around.

The Goal

Design a museum experience with multiple touchpoints, with a relationship to a period of design history.

The Problem

Develop multiple levels of touchpoints that will recreate the sense of the culture of the era, while still preserving the art.

Our Core

Create a museum experience that encourages interaction with the environment and reflection on the concept of rebellion and the culture of the time.

The Timeline

Over the course of the past 6 weeks, we were tasked to create a creative museum experience, with multiple touchpoints.

The Design Process

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PRIMARY RESEARCH


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STORYTELLING

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SECONDARY RESEARCH


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UI DESIGN

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RESEARCH ANALYSIS


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COMMUNICATION

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DESIGN


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PRIMARY RESEACH

Cultural Probe 

 

Our probe served to help gather information about the time period and verify our definition of the word rebellious. This document will aid in the process of understanding users' experiences and help pull insights for the design process. 

Day 1: 

The first day was a casual day to get to know the participant. It includes a piece of paper where they got to be artistic and color in the stick figure to represent themself. There were also basic questions about themself to the side. On the back of the paper was a daily schedule that they could fill out. There were instructions for each day, on this one, there were fun facts about the UX team.

Many of the participants decorated the stick figure and left side comments on things that already wrote. This was common especially in the schedule, as they explained further their feelings about certain activities. 

Day 2:

The second day fed off the information on the first day. A scroll was presented and asked the participant what they defined rebellion as, what an example was, and what they have done that was rebellious. The form was presented as a burnt scroll. Having the feeling of being a secret and something rebellious, as the paper itself was not present. The second part of the day, the participant was supposed to take the disposable camera, that was included, and do something that wasn’t on their daily routine, something rebellious.

There was a general consensus about what rebellion revolved around. It general included society standards, and what was right and wrong. Going forward with the pictures it seemed that the activity was taken fairly well, but only 3-4 pictures were taken. The descriptions following each picture, tho, were detailed and had substance.

Day 3:

Day three focused on the Lowbrow era. In this packet, the participant receive three different songs and were asked to rate them (based on facial expressions) and give descriptive emotions. The other part of the activity was to view different Lowbrow art and caption and explain their feelings while viewing it.

There was a wide range of emotions through this day. There were many remarks about hearing the music as kids. Tho, no real reflection went beyond that. The images took on many thoughts, as that was the longest response (other than the rebellion paper) in this probe.

From there we gained a good idea of what the culture was like and what it was like to be in the era.

SECONDARY RESEACH

Literature Review

We wanted to familiarize ourselves with the period of time surrounding lowbrow art. We looked into the social movements going on around the rise of Lowbrow, the reasons lowbrow came to exist, and the influences to lowbrow art.

After researching, we found that Lowbrow art first started gaining popularity in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s as a response to the other mainstream art movements at the time that were seen as more “high-brow.” Lowbrow art borrows huge influences from the art of the Hot-rod culture in Los Angeles at the time, which was very raw and came from people with no formal art training.

Mood Board

 

After completing our secondary research, we wanted to create a mood board that captured the emotions of everything we found. This mood board would make sure that we were fitting the tone of the era of art. 

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RESEARCH ANALYSIS

Through the different research we decide on ideas based on touchpoint sizes (small, medium, and large. Many different ideas were generated, such as an experience during the night. This lead to our final experience.

"Pick your Poison" Touchpoint: Illegal substances and their impact were very influential in our era of art. While we originally intended on incorporating at least one of these substances directly into our museum. We decided to instead simulate the use of these substances with different, but similar experiences. We also decided that we would like to have some sort of physical representation for these items that users could carry through the museum to build more of a connection to these substances. In this area, you would select a badge that would let you interact with the art as you go along.

"Shifting Image" Touchpoint: To interact with this touchpoint users would be given an RFID item at the beginning of the museum that they keep with them throughout their experience in the museum. These items would then be scanned at this point to influence the image.

"Elevator Sim" Touchpoint: The Elevator Sim touchpoint is a simulated elevator in our museum to have the users get the experience of going down. In reality, this touchpoint is on ground level, like the rest of the exhibit. The reason for its inclusion in the lowbrow movement is often referred to as an underground movement and often is associated with other counter-culture ideas of the time. Because of this, we wanted to have an experience where users believe that they are physically moving down into the underground as a physical representation of this idea. Disney World’s Haunted Mansion attraction, shown above, uses a similar fake elevator simulation to give users the experience that they are being pulled down.

"What is Rebellion Wall" Touchpoint:  The What is Rebellion? Wall touchpoint is about getting users to engage with the idea of rebellion and what it means personally to the user. This is something that we also pursued with our probes, and wanted to put to use in our museum. Rebellion is a subjective experience and action and with this touchpoint, users can express to other museum-goers, what the idea of rebellion is to them. They do this by interacting with a medium touchpoint, being a computer or tablet and answering the question “What is Rebellion to you?” that is prompted on the touchpoint. Their answer then is displayed on a large screen that will be visible throughout almost all of the museum giving incoming users the ability to think about rebellion as they make their way through the museum and see different art work throughout the museum.

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DESIGN

Wizard of Oz Testing

 

A protocol was created to test the exhibit in order to standardize the tasks. Through testing, we wanted to determine whether our exhibit was easy to understand and how the user would interact with our touchpoints. From there some of the takeaways were:

  • Lack of external help or directions regarding touchpoints, users may find it difficult to know how to interact with the exhibit

  • Extreme darkness caused participants to be reluctant to look around the exhibitor miss touchpoints since it is difficult to see them without eye strain.

Going forward with this some ideas were generated to have footprints, based on the users 'poison' and to have the rebellion wall in view throughout the experience.

Experience Map

An experience map was created to determine the feeling of rebellion, this was created based on testing. 

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SKETCHES

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Final Design

"Pick your Poision" Touchpoint: Illegal substances and their impact were very influential in our era of art. While we originally intended on incorporating at least one of these substances directly into our museum. We decided to instead simulate the use of these substances with different, but similar experiences. We also decided that we would like to have some sort of physical representation for these items that users could carry through the museum to build more of a connection to these substances. In this area, you would select a badge that would let you interact with the art as you go along.

"Shifting Image" Touchpoint: To interact with this touchpoint users would be given an RFID item at the beginning of the museum that they keep with them throughout their experience in the museum. These items would then be scanned at this point to influence the image.

"Elevator Sim" Touchpoint: The Elevator Sim touch point is a simulated elevator in our museum to have the users get the experience of going down. In reality, this touchpoint is on ground level, like the rest of the exhibit. The reason for its inclusion is the lowbrow movement is often referred to as an underground movement, and often is associated with other counter culture ideas of the time. Because of this we wanted to have an experience where users believe that they are physically moving down into the underground as a physical representation of this idea. Disney World’s Haunted Mansion attraction, shown above, uses a similar fake elevator simulation to give users the experience that they are being pulled down.

"What is Rebellion Wall" Touchpoint:  The What is Rebellion? Wall touchpoint is about getting users to engage with the idea of rebellion and what it means personally to the user. This is something that we also pursued with our probes, and wanted to put to use in our museum. Rebellion is a subjective experience and action and with this touchpoint users can express to other museum goers, what the idea of rebellion is to them. They do this by interacting with a medium touchpoint, being a computer or tablet and answering the question “What is Rebellion to you?” that is prompted on the touchpoint. Their answer then is displayed on a large screen that will be visible throughout almost all of the museum giving incoming users the ability to think about rebellion as they make their way through the museum and see different art work throughout the museum.

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