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Note: Each chapter will have several associated activities.  The activities are concrete things museum staff can do to plan and implement participatory design.  Some will be creative/evocative (i.e. talk to visitors) and others will be more specific (i.e. fill out this survey).  The goal is for the activities to tie the book to an active (and ongoing) community of practice.


  1. Introduction: Why the Participatory Museum? (note: the version as it now stands needs reworking.  May just start with Chapter 1.)
    1. What it means
    2. What it can mean
    3. What unique value does it have for museums?
      1. bring people in (visitor voices list)
      2. deliver on town square mission
      3. audience development
    4. How to talk about it with your boss
    5. How to use this book
    6. A note on technology (this is not a book about technology, but it uses technology projects as design models and examples)
  2. Chapter 1: What is Design for Participation? How is it different from other kinds of design?
    1. yes, it really is design
      1. approach the way you would approach didactic or interactive design
      2. difference between participatory design (process) and design for participation (product)
    2. serves different needs
      1. audience side: engaging diverse kinds of participants
      2. institutional side: setting up sensible use cases
    3. there are design frameworks and patterns that will be explored in this book
    4. Me-to-We introduction
      1. example: Nike +
  3. Chapter 2: Participation Begins with "Me"
    1. conceptual framework: asserting visitor as a partner in the experience
      1. personalization establishes identity
      2. need personal identity to be part of social dialogue
    2. constructing in-museum profiles
      1. self-identifying via wearables
      2. "you are what you do" profiles
      3. keeping profiles flexible and generous to users
      4. ACTIVITY: profile-maker
    3. personalized starting points
    4. tours and recommendation engines
    5. deeper ongoing (repeat and member) engagement
      1. take-homes and cross-platform experiences
      2. loyalty cards and growth memberships
  4. Chapter 3: from me to we - networking individual behavior
    1. Conceptual framework: network effects
    2. The difference between networked and social platforms
      1. Anne Frank House Free2Choose
      2. Activity: TAKE IT UP A NOTCH
    3. Programs and Low-tech physical social networks
      1. Living Library
      2. Race pointiness
    4. embuing platforms with values
      1. Scratch
      2. Signtific
    5. Platforms and power - what you can and can't control
  5. Chapter 4: social objects in museums - inviting object-mediated experiences
    1. Conceptual framework: what is a social object?
      1. evocative objects, significant objects
    2. identifying social objects
      1. Activity: SOCIAL OBJECT HUNT
    3. turning artifacts into social objects
    4. visitor-contributed or generated social objects
  6. Chapter 5: contribution, collaboration, and co-design
    1. Constrained Contributions
      1. responses - talkbacks
      2. data - citizen science
      3. exhibit concepts - MN150
      4. exhibit material - Playing with Science, Click, broken relationships, Denver Community
    2. Collaborative Partnerships
      1. exhibit development - Chabot, Tech Virtual, Wing Luke
    3. Open Co-creation
      1. giving community a space - Day of the Dead, AAM folks
      2. when it goes wrong - Indy Kids
  7. Chapter 6: Managing Museum Platforms 
    1. new delivery mechanism supports multiple types of content sharing and redistribution
    2. different kind of authority
    3. different operations: tend the garden instead of producing the show - requires ongoing TLC
      1. Weston Family Innovation
      2. Wing Luke
    4. Maintain the values
      1. MN150 and Click - pick your platform battles
      2. SF0 - when it goes in a new direction
    5. Matching mission to participatory model
      1. Metaphorical design - finding examples of participation in everyday life
      2. Institutional match - what is your style and what fits into that
        1. pick your participatory battles to fit with institutional behavior
        2. roles for staff, participation is for them too
        3. learn to speak the mission fit
        4. how does this enhance core businesses? (1stfans, COSI)
    6. Making it work for your users
      1. Helping visitors understand and feel invited to participate
      2. Give away most fun part of your job
      3. respect your users
      4. give them a real job
      5. value their contributions in a public way
      6. reward their actions
      7. manage different levels of participation (power law)
      8. support different types of participants (creator, critic, curator, joiner, spectator)
  8. Conclusion: Imagining the Participatory Museum


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