Towards a digital dream space: how can the use of digital 3D scanning, editing and print technologies foster new forms of creative engagement with museum artefacts?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This thesis describes research into the creative use of digital three-dimensional (3D) technologies in museums. It examines how digital 3D reproductions of museum artefacts support creative engagement and enhance museum experience. Digital 3D models of museum artefacts are malleable; they allow users to create new artworks through digital manipulation and transformation. 3D printing technologies enable users to translate digital 3D models directly into physical forms. This research investigates how these technologies can impact on museum engagement and makes recommendations for museums exploring the possible uses of digital 3D technologies. A contextual review, informed by ongoing developments in the field of digital heritage and a critical review of published literature, identifies key issues examined in the research. These include the ways in which reproductive digital 3D technologies can foster unprecedented audience access to museum collections, democratise art interventions in museums and engage with the museum ‘dream space’. The rationale for the use of qualitative research methods in the study is explained and the case studies undertaken during the research are described. The investigation of artworks created by participants in the case studies; data from interviews with artists, museum staff and museum visitors, provide insights into how digital 3D reproductions foster new experiences with museum artefacts. In this research, reproductive digital 3D technologies are shown to support creative forms of museum engagement, to democratise museum interventions and increase public access to museum collections. They engage users with personal and subrational forms of museum experience. Furthermore, the use of digital technologies in museums has been shown, in this research, to trigger learning experiences and increase historical awareness and digital literacy. Recommendations are made for institutional approaches to the use of digital 3D technologies and for future research in the area of creative engagement with digital heritage.
PhD Thesis - School of Art and Design
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