Making your own meaning: designing constructivist interactive history exhibits

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathryn Marie Sikes (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Patrick Lee Lucas

Abstract: History museums today face a dilemma with pressure to design more engaging exhibits for visitors while remaining true to their interests in displaying object collections and curating them for future generations. In this work, the researcher proposes an approach to designing constructivist interactive exhibits for history museums that utilizes methods developed by science museums. Topics researched include a study of the progression of history and science museum exhibition design in the twentieth century; the functional and educational requirements involved in constructivist science museum exhibits; and an analysis of how material culture methodologies can merge constructivist interactive exhibits with the examination of historical objects. The researcher then applies this design approach in the development, fabrication, and evaluation of a constructivist interactive history exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina. The evaluation results provides a resource of reflection for both the successes of this design approach as well as potential areas for further research.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Constructivism, Design, Exhibit, History, Museum, Science
Historical museums $x Design and construction
Science museums $x Design and construction
Museum architecture
Museum exhibits

Email this document to