The doors open and hundreds of children crowd the foyer in an instant. Sitting still for almost an hour, which the children attending the Nalle in Space concert have just done, has taken its toll. The children want to move and be activated. The foyer has been prepared with interactive installations where the children can use their excess energy, but there is also a table where they can put on headphones and play with the music they have just heard.
The Nalle/Teddy in Space experiment explored how a family concert can be extended in both space and time. It also explored how classical music can be made more accessible to children, and how children can be involved in co-creation before, during, and after a family concert.
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.
The full report, Shadow Play: Children Co-create the Scenography for Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals, can be previewed here and downloaded here.
By arranging shadow-play workshops, the project Musikalsk oplevelsesdesign explored how children can become more engaged and co-creative before, during, and after a family classical-music concert. This report by Erling Björgvinsson summarizes and analyzes the outcome of Shadow Play.
Project 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.
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.
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 →