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.

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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.

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