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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Country Dog Gentlemen Gallery Game

Institution: 

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Designer: 

in collaboration with Night Kitchen Interactive

Category: 

Mobile

Why

The Country Dog Gentlemen Gallery Game breaks away from the conventional mold of in-gallery experiences for families.  Rather than simply presenting object-specific didactics in kid-friendly language, the Gallery Game is an artwork-agnostic tool that encourages close looking and models dialogue between family members about any object on view.  The Game is available for free on iPod Touches onsite at SFMOMA, and soon in the App store as a downloadable resource that families can use anywhere.  It uses some of iPod Touch’s best multimedia capabilities, such as the accelerometer, audio capabilities and moving images, but does not get caught up with the bells and whistles of the technology - the game is primarily about families exploring the galleries together.

Canine hosts Dingo and Collie prompt young visitors to interpret artworks in the gallery through various modes of inquiry, including movement, mood, sound, and color. Visitors are guided from gallery to gallery and are encouraged to explore artworks with their eyes and minds, identifying distinctive elements and creating connections. The simple, yet playful interface, inspired by Roy de Forest’s celebrated painting The Country Dog Gentlemen, was designed with kids and busy families in mind – visitors young and old can easily navigate through the exploratory prompts as they wander through the museum.

The intended audience for this project was families with children ages 6-10 – the hope was to inspire families to experience the artwork in new ways while supporting dialogue between family members throughout their museum experience. The mobile format allows visitors to take the interactive guide from gallery to gallery as they explore works of Modern art.

**NOTE - SFMOMA will send devices for jurors to preview App.  Please provide a mailing address.**