I specialise in the delivery of interactive exhibits which enhance visitor experiences and increase engagement with objects, collections and stories. I have managed the delivery of hundreds of digital and mechanical interactive experiences covering topics from the fields of science, technology, the natural world, history and world cultures.
Visitors expect a level of interactivity and to be actively engaged and have fun. However, I know that organisations of all sizes face a range of different challenges in making their interpretation interactive. I work with clients (museums and visitor centres) of all sizes and with all budgets, and with design companies. I can help organise the early ideas stage as well as acting as point of contact and liaison with specialist fabrication companies or digital developers through to final installation.
My interactive exhibit work is always audience focused and involves layers of user testing and audience research. I worked for the Visitor Studies Group committee for four years and remain a member of the group.
Good interpretation planning is the invisible glue that makes a visitor experience ‘work’. It involves researching and understanding both audiences and content. I work with clients to understand their unique set of visitors’ interests, feelings and values as well as their motivations for engagement. Content analysis allows me to help clients to identify underlying themes and overarching messages within their stories and articulate these in a way that leads to cohesive experiences for people (rather than a disorganised information overload).
I have created interpretation plans for successful Heritage Lottery Fund applications for Kew Gardens and the Thackray Medical Museum as well as developing plans through to delivery for a wide range of smaller projects in museums, visitor centres and outdoor sites.
I care deeply about widening access to cultural experiences for all audiences and working to remove social and cultural barriers to engagement. I create interpretation plans that are rooted in an understanding of visitor behaviour and motivations to make personal connections and create an engaging and enjoyable visitor experience.
I have always been driven by a curiosity about the world and how it works, and my passion lies in creating conversations and engagement with people of all ages and backgrounds. I particularly enjoy bringing science into areas such as social history and the arts and into organisations more usually focussed elsewhere (for example, electricity activities for the National Trust at Cragside House).
I provide consultation and advice to research centres and universities looking to engage the public through exhibitions, hands-on activities or digital interactive exhibits. I am particularly experienced in working on projects involving community partners and have a strong audience focus and understanding of diverse audiences and evaluation strategy.
My work is grounded in best practice and current theory. I graduated from Imperial College London with an MSc in Science Communication in 1999 and have since worked for a range of leading science engagement organisations such as the Wellcome Trust. I teach for the University of Edinburgh on their MSc in Science Communication and Public Engagement and peer review grant applications for several funding bodies in science engagement.