The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space

The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space


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Recent research in the cognitive sciences gives us a new perspective on the cognitive and sensory landscape.

In The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space, museum expert Nina Levent and Alvaro Pascual-Leone, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School bring together scholars and museum practitioners from around the world to highlight new trends and untapped opportunities for using such modalities as scent, sound, and touch in museums to offer more immersive experiences and diverse sensory engagement for visually- and otherwise-impaired patrons. Visitor studies describe how different personal and group identities color our cultural consumption and might serve as a compass on museum journeys. Psychologists and educators look at the creation of memories through different types of sensory engagement with objects, and how these memories in turn affect our next cultural experience. An anthropological perspective on the history of our multisensory engagement with ritual and art objects, especially in cultures that did not privilege sight over other senses, allows us a glimpse of what museums might become in the future. Education researchers discover museums as unique educational playgrounds that allow for a variety of learning styles, active and passive exploration, and participatory learning. Designers and architects suggest a framework for thinking about design solutions for a museum environment that invites an intuitive, multisensory and flexible exploration, as well as minimizes physical hurdles.

While attention has been paid to accessibility for the physically-impaired since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, making buildings accessible is only the first small step in elevating museums to be centers of learning and culture for all members of their communities. This landmark book will help all museums go much further.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759123540
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/16/2014
Pages: 410
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nina Levent is executive director of Art Beyond Sight Collaborative in New York City, part of Art Education for the Blind. Art Beyond Sight is dedicated to making the visual arts a vital part of the lives of visually-impaired people.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., is professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School; Director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation; Program Director of the Harvard-Thorndike Clinical Research Unit; and an Attending Neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — all in Boston. He is a practicing behavioral neurologist and movement disorders specialist.

Table of Contents

Introduction Nina Levent & Alvaro Pascual-Leone Part I: Museums & Touch Chapter 1: Please DO Touch the Exhibits! Interactions between Visual Imagery and Haptic Perception Simon Lacey & K. Sathian Chapter 2: "First Hand," not "First-eye" Knowledge: Bodily Experience in Museums Francesca Bacci & Francesco Pavani Chapter 3: Art-Making as Multisensory Engagement: Case Studies from The Museum of Modern Art Carrie McGee &Francesca Rosenberg Chapter 4: Multi-sensory Engagement with Real Nature Relevant to Real Life Molly Steinwald, Melissa A. Harding, & Richard V. Piacentini Chapter 5: Touch and Narrative in Art and History Museums Nina Levent & Lynn McRainey Part II: Museums & Sound Chapter 6: A Brain Guide to Sound Galleries Stephen R. Arnott & Claude Alain Chapter 7: Ephemeral, Immersive, Invasive: Sound as Curatorial Theme 1966-2013 Seth Cluett Chapter 8: Soundwalking the Museum: A Sonic Journey through the Visual Display Salomé Voegelin. Chapter 9: The Role of Sensory and Motor Systems in Art Appreciation and Implications for Exhibit Design A. Casile & L. F. Ticini. Part III: Smell & Taste in Museums Chapter 10: The Forgotten Sense: Using Olfaction in a Museum Context. A Neuroscience Perspective. Richard Stevenson. Chapter 11: The Scented Museum Andreas Keller Chapter 12: The Museum as Smellscape Jim Drobnick Chapter 13: Taste-full Museums: Educating the Senses One Plate at a Time Irina Mihalache Part IV: Museum Architecture & the Senses Chapter 14: Navigating the Museum Hugo Spiers, Fiona Zisch & Steven Gage, Chapter 15: Museum as an Embodied Experience Juhani Pallasmaa Chapter 16: Architectural Design for Living Artifacts Joy Monice Malnar & Frank Vodvarka. Part V: Future Museums Chapter 17: Multisensory Memories: How Richer Experiences Facilitate Remembering Jamie Ward Chapter 18: The Secret of Aesthetcis Lies in the Conjugation of the Senses: Reimagining the Museum as a Sensory Gymnasium David Howes Chapter 19: Multisensory Mental Simulation and Aesthetic Perception Salvatore M Aglioti, Ilaria Bufalari & Matteo Candidi Chapter 20: Islands of Stimulation: Perspectives on the Museum Experience, Present and Future Rebecca McGinnis Chapter 21: The Future Landscape of 3D in Museums Samantha Sportun Chapter 22: Technology, Senses and the Future of Museums. A Conversation with Nina Levent, Heather Knight , Sebastian Chan and Rafael Lozano Hammer. Conclusion Index About the Contributors

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