24 March 2013

CreativeCH Interview: Catalonia Showcase

Carme Prats i Joaniquet, Manager of the CreativeCH's Catalonia showcase

Welcoming students to mNACTEC, Torre del Palau High School, © mNACTEC

Students treasure hunting at the museum, Torre del Palau High School, © mNACTEC

Textile manufacturing setting at mNACTEC, © mNACTEC

Interview with Carme Prats i Joaniquet, manager of the CreativeCH showcase in Terrassa, Catalonia

In a nutshell, what is the concept of your showcase?

Our showcase aims to bring cultural heritage closer to the young generation. ICT solutions allow us to talk about heritage with a cross-cutting approach and to integrate contributions of museum and site visitors to the project. In this context, mNACTEC is developing a self-guided walking tour mobile app that focuses on touring the city’s major sites... and some hidden gems! We have already launched El Fotocroma del mNACTEC, a chroma-key installation that mixes images of museum visitors into scenes of Terrassa industrial heritage. An iPad kiosk is available for the visitors to select the desired scenario (from historical photos to outstanding museum pieces), take photos, and download and share the results with friends on social networks.

What are special or innovative features of your showcase?

Using ICT to recognize and value our industrial heritage in an engaging way. Because we believe it’s essential to engage our target (young people) in the conceptualization and implementation of the showcase. To develop, use and test the methodology for this is an important part of the project.

How do you involve local organisations, students or other participants?

It is our priority to involve them actively. Young people play a central role in the showcase, as they are not only our audience but are strongly involved in the project: proposing concepts and content, testing results... Therefore we work together with Torre del Palau High School, recognised for their best practices in the field of enhancing learning through ICT. And they are in Terrassa! We are now looking for a way to reach young people outside the classroom, for example, through a contest or other attractive activities. We expect to have some results by May.
Regarding public administration, we have support at different levels: locally, mNACTEC is working with Terrassa City Council, specifically the Environmental Area and Tourism Area; at the regional level we collaborate with the Department of Education.
And, of course, we don’t forget our museum visitors! We encourage them to be active, for example, by giving feedback when taking photos at the chroma-key installation.

What are your experiences and lessons learned as yet?

We made an interesting discovery: nowadays, it is a must to work towards the complementarity between virtual and presential elements. For example, with this showcase, we are suggesting a cross-sectional view, a new perspective to all museum exhibits, through visits “à la carte” with iPads, treasure hunting with smartphones and QR codes... Moreover, there must be a connection between the “inside” and the “outside”, this is, between the museum exhibits and Terrassa. 

How will you know that the showcase has been successful?

Well, our chroma-key is already quite an event! Last Sunday, entrance to mNACTEC was free and visitors had the opportunity to “play” with this new installation. On Monday morning we checked the server where the photos are stored and... wow! We were amazed by the creative photos the visitors took. Why is it a success? Because it’s innovative, playful and fun!
In general, I think the showcase will attract a specific segment of our museum and site visitors, the young and ICT-savvy generation. On the other hand, the showcase is an innovative element but it is not isolated: we create synergies, for example, with the Fira Modernista, a very popular local event. And one last thing: In the showcase process feedback is fundamental. We take evaluation very seriously, not only at the end, but during the whole process.




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