We’re going to the Arts & Audiences conference!

arts-audiences-2014-logoPeople from the Musikalsk oplevelsesdesign project hosts and runs a so-called module at the Arts & Audiences 2014 conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. Arts & Audiences is a meeting point for artists, curators, producers, etc., who want to find new ways to extend audience engagement. We are very happy to take part in the conference and share and discuss the learnings we have made.

Our module, Expanding the Stage in a Post-Digital World, is based on learnings from the Musikalsk oplevelsesdesign project. We will also run five breakout sessions:

1. Perspectives on culture
2. Audience participation and democracy
3. Mediating audience engagement in a post-digital world
4. Audience engagement and organizational challenges
5. New ways of funding cultural productions

See the full module programme here!

New tickets and a way to take action: designing with the Royal Danish Theatre

During spring 2014, two student groups from the Malmö University interaction design masters program worked closely with the Royal Danish Theatre. The design brief was to explore how to expand the relationship between the Royal Danish Theatre and gymnasium students.

Museum-like labels used by one of the student groups

Museum-like labels used by one of the student groups

One student group explored how theatre tickets may serve as discussion starters, this through having news stories that are thematically related to the theme of the performance printed on them – alongside museum-like labels displayed at “unexpected” spots. The second group developed a Take Action program where students performed parts of plays before the professional performances. Continue reading

Designing for mass interaction: an experiment with the Royal Danish Theatre

Why do large-scale interaction designs for stage and audience tend to fail? And how may “mass interaction” support the concert experience in a way that makes the interactivity become a dialogue between artistic intention and audience experience? Through design experiments carried out in collaboration with the Royal Danish Theatre and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art – The School of Design, interaction design masters students Maja Fagerberg Ranten and Halfdan Hauch Jensen have designed for interaction between the audience and the stage.

“Turn on your light, express yourself through colors, and become a part of the music’s color screen”

The concept developed, and tried out at the Musik2Go concert of May 11, was based on a graphics and colors on a screen and big lanterns spreading the colors from the screen to the whole concert hall. At a limited time during the concert, the audience could – through a small color-selection device – trigger a color on the screen. Each audience member interacting should get the feeling of being represented in the visuals, and through that participate in creating a shared experience and interpretation of the concert, visuals and music together. See video embedded at the top of this post, or here on YouTube.

The experiment was a joint effort between students from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art – The School of Design, Malmö University interaction design master students, teachers and researchers, and the Royal Danish Theatre.

In the report Interaction at a Classical Concert, Maja Fagerberg Ranten and Halfdan Hauch Jensen gives a detailed description of the design process and how it was perceived by the audience. Continue reading

Upcoming student project: making the Nalle concert format more co-creative

Teddy bear with headphones

Teddy bear with headphones. Credit Flickr user Elisa R Baralt CC:BY-SA

How can Malmö Symphony Orchestra’s Nalle concert format be made more collaboratively co-creative? This is a question that interaction design masters students at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, will explore for a few weeks during spring 2014.

Text: Erling Björgvinsson.

Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) has developed a children’s concert format called Nallekonserten (the Teddy Bear Concert). The concert, where children bring their favorite teddy bear, is highly popular and an opportunity for parents, grandparents and children to have a shared cultural experience. Each concert has a specific theme. The 2013 themes were Nalle in Traffic and Nalle’s Christmas Concert. During the spring of 2014, the themes will be Nalle and Niklas meet Alfons Åberg, Nalle in Space, and Nalle Invites You to a Party.

Continue reading

Upcoming student project: expanding the relationship between the Royal Danish Theatre and gymnasium students

GUY-BIKE-FLICKR-GARRETTCOYTE-CCBYNCND

Credit Flickr user Garrett Coyte

How can the relationship between the Royal Danish Theatre and gymnasium students be expanded? This is a question that interaction design masters students at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, will explore for a few weeks during spring 2014.

Update: this design brief resulted in these two student projects.

Text: Erling Björgvinsson.

Many performing arts institutions, classical orchestras in particular, in the Western world are facing diminished audience numbers. The average age of the audience is steadily rising. Although many cultural institutions work actively about rethinking their repertoire and develop new presentation formats, they tend to reach only a well-educated and affluent middle class. The last two or three generations of students have to a small degree been exposed to classical music and orchestras as part of their school curriculum. Teenagers, as well as young adults, is an age group that the orchestras tend to lose out on. Today the Royal Danish Theater (RDT), which is commissioned to serve the whole country, has produced traditional educational material that teachers can download and use in their courses, typically as a preparation before attending a concert at the RDT.

Continue reading

Booklet exploring audience engagement concepts

KADK-booklet-frontProject partner Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – School of Design (KADK), has produced a booklet that explores the audience engagement concepts developed in collaboration between KADK, Malmö University, students and cultural institutions. View the booklet below!

Excerpts from the introduction by Jakob Ion Wille and Arthur Steijn

In the spring of 2013, students from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design and Malmö University were engaged in programs part of the EU project, Musical Experience Design. The EU project is seeking development of innovative experiences within the context of live classical music concerts. Three cultural institutions in the Øresund region, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Danish Theatre, and Copenhagen Phil, are functioning as laboratories for developing and testing new concepts.

At Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, the program was to explore ways to design meaningful interaction between classical music concerts and their audience, using new visualization technologies. At Malmö University, the students focused on how to develop new models that could contribute to cultivating new expertise and strengthening the relations between cultural institutions and their audiences. This booklet is a showcase of the eight conceptual designs developed by students from the School of Design and four from Malmö University during the semester, as well as the work produced by students from both schools in cooperation with The Royal Danish Orchestra (Det Kongelige Kappel) for a series of children’s concerts performed in the fall of 2013 in The Opera House in Copenhagen.

Finally, thoughts on working with experience design and renewing the live format of symphonic music will be discussed in the booklet. The idea of renewing the format of symphonic music, live performance including audience engagement and the use of modern audio-visual media technology raises aesthetic, technological and methodological questions. As a framework for the presentation of the work and design done by the students, these questions will be addressed in texts authored by researchers involved in the project. Please enjoy.

Preview or download the booklet. If any characters look wonky, try downloading the PDF and view it in preferred PDF reader. Continue reading

Report from Arts & Audiences conference

The Arts and Audiences conference in Helsinki, 2013, gathered representatives from cultural institutions and a few researchers. The recurring theme was that cultural institutions are facing significant challenges, as the Nordic countries have changed considerably over the last two decades: the Nordic countries have become more multicultural, engagement with culture has become more diverse and segmented, and there is an increased expectation of active engagement.

Text: Erling Björgvinsson

Arts & Audiences Photographer: Alejandro Lorenzo

Arts & Audiences. Fotograf: Alejandro Lorenzo.

Most of the 240 participants came from Nordic large or mid-size cultural institutions or art festivals and very few from free art institutions or organizations. Most of the participants worked with outreach, education, communication, but a few directors were also present.

Challenges and Opportunities
The recurring themes at the conference were that the cultural institutions are facing significant challenges, as the Nordic countries have changed considerably over the last two decades. The Nordic countries have become more multicultural, the engagement with culture has become more diverse and segmented, and there is an increased expectation of active engagement. Continue reading

Four concepts that strengthen the relationship between institution and audience

The question of how contemporary media can strengthen the relationship between cultural institutions and their audience(s) has been explored by seventeen interaction design masters students at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, all within the Musikalsk Oplevelsesdesign project.

Four concepts were developed over a period of ten weeks, where masters students at the Interaction Design programme at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, worked in collaboration with representatives from cultural institutions Malmö Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Danish Theatre, and Copenhagen Phil. Continue reading

The Joystick Arena: Students working with Malmö Symphony Orchestra

Joystick is a concert where Malmö Symphony Orchestra (MSO) plays computer game music. The format is highly popular and well visited, drawing mostly men between the ages of eighteen and forty. The design challenge for the interaction design master students Carlo Luccioni, Chi-heng Peng, Chomphunut Haglund and James McIntyre was to explore how the relationship between MSO and their Joystick audience could be deepened and broadened.

This post summarizes one of the concepts developed during ten weeks of collaborative work between masters students and the cultural institutions in the project Musikalsk Oplevelsesdesign. See an overview of all four concepts here. Continue reading

Dante’s Purgatory: Students working with The Royal Danish Theatre

The students Atilim Sahin, Halfdan Jensen, Maja Fagerberg Ranten, and Rozina Sidhu has together with the ballet group Corpus at the Royal Danish Theatre explored how the boundaries between the audience and the dancers can be challenged and made more participatory. The group presented their work at Medea to fellow students, their supervisors, and representatives from the Royal Danish Theatre. This report summarizes the outcomes of their work.

This post summarizes one of the concepts developed during ten weeks of collaborative work between masters students and the cultural institutions in the project Musikalsk Oplevelsesdesign. See an overview of all four concepts here. Continue reading