'Of Mice and Men': The Role of Interactive Exhibitions as Research Tools for Inclusive Design

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The Exhibition is embedded within the culture of Art and Design and has a long history as a form of 'gathering' to prompt academic discourse. This paper explores the role of the exhibition as a theatre for conversation that has parallels with the salon gatherings that emerged in mid-seventeenth-century France.

This paper will describe 'The Future Bathroom' – a project that contributes to the development of methods and tools to support an inclusive design agenda. The bathroom provides a number of challenges to user-centred design methodology because of the highly personal, sensitive and intimate nature of the activities that take place there. Various methods were adopted during the course of the enquiry and here we focus on the role of the interactive exhibition as a research tool to gather data and further our understanding within the context of the research objectives.

As part of the interdisciplinary research network 'Engineering for Life' (supported through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Bridging the Gap Programme), researchers within the Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC) at Sheffield Hallam University explored the potential of a 'field lab' exhibition based on the 'future bathroom' research to both gather and disseminate knowledge.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175630612X13192035508543

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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